Skip to main content

Full text of "Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee, with a statistical account of that kingdom, and geographical notices of other parts of the interior of Africa"

See other formats


UNIVERSITY  OF   PITTSBURGH 


Darlington  Ai.emorial  Jjihrary 


il    .1 


MISSION 

FROM   CAPE   COAST   CASTLE 


TO 


ASHANTEE 


STATISTICAL  ACCOUNT  OF  THAT  KINGDOM, 

AND 

GEOGRAPHICAL   NOTICES  OF  OTHER  PARTS 


INTERIOR    OF  AFRICA. 


^  BY  T.  EDWARD  BOWDICH,  ESQ. 

CONDUCTOR. 


Quod  si  prse  metu  et  formidine  pedem  referemus,  ista  omnia  nobis  adversa 
futura  sunt." 


LONDON 


JOHN  MURRAY,    ALBEMARLE-STREE T. 

1819.' 


»  5 


MISSION 

FROM   CAPE   COAST   CASTLE 


TO 


ASHANTEE, 

WITH  A 

STATISTICAL  ACCOUNT  OF  THAT  KINGDOM, 

AND 

GEOGRAPHICAL   NOTICES  OF  OTHER  PARTS 

OF  THE 

INTERIOR    OF  AFRICA. 


BY  T.  EDWARD  BOWDICH,  ESQ. 

CONDUCTOR. 


Quod  si  prae  metu  et  formidine  pedem  referenius,  ista  omnia  nobis  adversa 
futura  sunt." 


LONDON: 

JOHN  MURRAY,    ALBEMARLE-STREET. 

I8I9; 


Lundon  :  printed  bj  W.  Uulmer  and  CVj 
Cleveland-Row,  St.  James's. 


INTRODUCTION. 


A  CURIOSITY  throughout  Europe,  proportionate  to  the  ignorance 
of  the  Interior  of  Africa,  exacts  the  publication  of  the  proceedings 
and  researches  of  every  Exploratory  Mission,  from  its  Conductor, 
as  a  duty  to  the  Public  :  "  mandat  fieri  sibi  talia." 

The  Public,  in  acknowledgment  of  the  performance  of  the  duty, 
reflecting  that  it  constrains  literary  efforts  which  the  Author  other- 
wise might  never  have  presumed  to  expose,  should  sympathise  in 
his  diffidence  and  anxiety,  and  receive  and  review  them  as  a  task 
imposed,  and  not  as  a  spontaneous  essay. 

If  this  indulgence  is  due  even  to  gentlemen  who  have  had  the 
most  enviable  opportunities  of  qualifying  themselves  at  the  expense 
of  a  liberal  Government,  it  is  surely  secure  to  one  who  never 
enjoyed  those  advantages ;  but,  being  suddenly  called  to  the 
immediate  conduct  of  a  Mission,  originated  by  a  public  Board 
of  very  contracted  means,  when  estranged  from  all  facilities,  had 
no  resource  to  aid  his  realization  of  the  scientific  desiderata,  beyond 
the  acquirements  common  to  most  private  gentlemen. 

The  vessel  in  which  I  am  making  my  passage  to  England  having 
been  chartered  to  trade  in  the  River  Gaboon,  Avhich  is  immedi- 
ately on  the  Line,  I  diverted  a  tedious  delay  of  seven  Aveeks  in  so 


vi  INTRODUCTION. 

unliealthy  a  situation,  by  visiting  Naiingo,  a  town  about  fifty  miles 
from  the  mouth  of  the  River,  where  I  collected  Geographical 
Accounts  of  the  Interior,  from  several  intelligent  traders,  and 
numerous  slaves  from  different  countries.  I  have  added  this  com- 
pilation, (as  it  may  borrow  some  interest  from  the  adjacency  of 
the  Congo,)  with  a  few  notices  of  the  customs  and  productions  of 
this  ruder  part  of  Africa. 


CONTENTS. 


PART  I. 

Chap.    I. — The  Objects  and  Departure  of  the  Mission.               -              -             -  3 

Chap.  II — The  Route  and  Reception  of  the  Mission.  -  -  -  14 
Chap.  III. — Proceedings  and  Incidents  until  the  Third  Dispatch  to  Cape  Coast 

Castle.  -  -  -  -  ...42 

Chap.  IV. — Proceedings  and  Incidents  until  the  Signing  of  the  Preliminaries  to  a 

General  Treaty.             -                -                .                 -                 -  101 

Chap.  V.— Proceedings  and  Incidents  until  the  Ratification  of  a  General  Treaty.  -  118 
Chap.  VI.  —Proceedings  and  Incidents  until  the  completion  of  the  Mission  and  its 

return  to  Cape  Coast  Castle.                -                -                -          -  131 

PART  II. 

Chap.  I. —  Geography.  -  -  -  -  _.i61 

Chap.  II.— History.  -  .  -  .  .  .  228 

Chap.  III. —  Constitution  and  Laws.  .....  252 

Chap.  IV. — Superstitions.  .  .  -  -  -  -  -261 

Chap.  V. — Customs.         .  -  -  -  _  -  _  274 

Chap.  VI. — Architecture,  Arts,  and  Manufactures.  ....  304 

Chap.  VII. — Climate,  Population,  Revenue,  City,  Market,  &c.  -         .  -  315 

Chap.  VIII.— Trade.  .  -  -  .  .  -  330 

Chap.  IX. — Language.         ....._  .  344 

Chap.  X.— Music.  -  .  -  -  -  -361 

Chap.  XI. — Materia  Medica  and  Diseases.  -  -  -  -  370 

Chap.  XII. — Mr.  Hutchison's  Diarj-.  -  .  -  -  381 

Chap.  XIII. — Sketch  of  Gaboon,  and  its  Interior.  ....  422 

Chap.  XIV. — Suggestions  for  future  Missions  to  the  Interior  of  Africa.         .        .  453 


CONTENTS. 


APPENDIX. 

No.  I.— Extract  from  Mereditli's  Account  of  the  Gold  Coast.  ...  453 

No.  II.— Translations  of  an  Arabic  MS.  Descriptive  of  Mr.  Park's  Death.  -        -  478 

No.  III. — Arabic  Routes.              ----..  .  402 

No.  IV.  Dr.  Leach's  Notice  of  Reptiles,  Insects,  &c.              -              -  .         .  493 

No.  V. — Thermometer  Account.              -                _                 .                .  _  ^g* 

No.  VI — Vocabularies.                -                .                .                 .                _  _  cqa 


DIRECTIONS  FOR  PLACING  THE  PLATES. 

Map                                   -             -  -             .             .          to  front  the  Title. 

1.  A  Captain  in  his  War-dress  -  -  -  .  .  to  face  p.  d2 
Arabic  Circular  --  -  _  .  '.  j^g 
Map  from  Dapper         -                 -  .                 _                 _             -211 

2.  The  first  Day  of  the  Yam  Custom          -  -            .                _             _         275 

3.  The  oldest  House  in  Coomassie         -  -             _                 -          .     _         307 

4.  Quarters  of  the  Chief  of  the  Embassy,  -                 -                 -                 -          ib. 

5.  Odumata's  sleeping  room         -                 -  -             -             _              _       307 

6.  Inner  square  of  Apokoo's  house         -  -                 -             -            ib. 

1-1       ■ 

_  '>    Piazzas  of  the  palace         -                 -  -             -             _             _           308 
8'  J 

9.  Part  of  Adoom  Street         -             -  -                           -             -             -          ib. 

10.  Exterior  of  the  King's  bed  room         -  -             .                 -              -         zj. 

Ichnographical  Sketch  of  Coomassie  -              _              -          323 

Ashantee  Music            ----._  -             355 

Empoongwa  Music                         -  -                _                .             .        440 


ERRATA. 


Map. — Affix  the  name  Leeasa  to  the  river  flowing  from  the  Niger  by  Boussa. 

Page  9.— After  Frederick  James,  Esq.  add,  Member  of  Council,  and  Governor  of  Accra. 

Page  72. — For  dated,  read  dictated. 


GLOSSARY. 

Croom.  A  town  or  village. 

Caboceer.  A  chief  or  magistrate. 

Pynin.  An  elder  or  counsellor. 

Palaver.  A  dispute,  debate,  argument,  or  suit. 

Book  or  Note.  A  certificate  of  a  monthly  pension  of  the  African  Comnaittee,  paid  in  trade 
to  the  Fantee  Kings  and  Chiefs  in  the  neighboiu-hood  of  the  British  settle- 
ments, in  consideration  of  their  attachment,  influence,  and  services ;  which 
Books  or  Notes  were  claimed  by  the  King  of  Ashantee,  as  his  by  right  of 
conquest. 

Stool.  Throne,  seat  in  council,  inlieritance. 

Custom.  A  festival,  carnival,  public  ceremony,  funeral  rite. 

Panyar.  To  seize  or  kidnap. 

A  Benda.  Two  ounces  four  ackies,  or  £9.  currency. 

A  Periguin.  Two  ounces  eight  ackies,  or  £10.  currency. 

An  Ackie.  Five  shillings  currency. 

A  Tokoo.  Ten  pence, 

A  Dash.  A  present. 

Fetish.  A  charm,  amulet,  deity.  Any  supernatural  power  or  influence.  Any  thing 
sacred. 


MISSION  TO   ASHANTEE 
PART  I. 


MISSION   TO   ASHANTEE. 


CHAPTER   I. 


The  Objects^  and  Departure  of  the  Mission. 

BosMAN  and  Barbot  mention  the  Ashantees  as  first  heard  of  by 
Europeans  about  the  year  1700 ;  the  latter  calls  it  Assiantee  or 
Inta,  and  writes,  that  it  is  west  of  Mandingo,  and  joins  Akim  on 
the  east ;  he  asserts  its  pre-eminence  in  wealth  and  power.  Issert, 
a  physician  in  the  Danish  service,  who  meditated  a  visit  to  Ashan- 
tee,  writes,  "  this  mighty  king  has  a  piece  of  gold,  as  a  charm, 
more  than  four  men  can  carry ;  and  innumerable  slaves  are  con- 
stantly at  work  for  him  in  the  mountains,  each  of  whom  must 
collect  or  produce  two  ounces  of  gold  per  diem.  The  Akims 
formerly  dug  much  gold,  but  they  are  now  forbidden  by  the  King 
of  Ashantee,  to  whom  they  are  tributary,  as  well  as  the  Aquamboos, 
previously  a  very  formidable  nation."  Mr.  Dalzel  heard  of  the 
Ashantees  at  Dahomey,  as  very  powerful,  but  imagined  them,  the 
Intas,  and  the  Tapahs,  to  be  one  and  the  same  nation.   Mr.  Lucas, 


4  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

when  in  Mesurata,  was  informed  that  Assentai  was  the  capital  of 
the  powerful  kingdom  of  Tonouwah.  In  Mr.  Murray's  enlarged 
edition  of  Dr.  Leyden's  discoveries  in  Africa,  we  find,"  the  northern 
border  of  Akim  extends  to  Tonouwah,  denominated  also  Inta, 
Assientb,  or  Assentai,  from  its  capital  city  of  that  name,  which 
stands  about  eighteen  days  journey  from  the  Gold  Coast." 

In  1807  an  Ashantee  army  reached  the  Coast  for  the  first  time. 
I  would  refer  the  reader  to  the  extract  in  the  Appendix,  from  Mr. 
Meredith's  account  of  the  Gold  Coast,  as  the  particulars  are  intro- 
ductory as  well  as  interesting ;  and  also  serve  to  correct  the  mis- 
statement in  the  work  last  quoted,  that  in  1808  the  King  of 
Ashantee  destroyed  the  English  fort  of  Annamaboe ;  originating, 
probably,  from  the  storm  of  the  Dutch  fort  at  Cormantine,  at  that 
time. 

The  Ashantees  invaded  Fantee  again  in  1811,  and  the  third  time 
in  1816.  These  invasions  inflicted  the  greatest  miseries  on  the 
Fantees.  Few  were  slain  in  battle,  for  they  rarely  dared  to 
encounter  the  invaders ;  but  the  butcheries  in  cold  blood  wer 
incredible,  and  thousands  were  dragged  into  the  interior  to  be 
sacrificed  to  the  superstitions  of  the  conquerors.  Famines,  unmi- 
tigated by  labour,  succeeded  the  wide  waste  of  the  Fantee  territory, 
the  wretched  remnant  of  the  population  abandoning  itself  to 
despair ;  and  the  prolonged  blockade  of  Cape  Coast  Castle  in  the 
last  invasion,  engendered  so  much  distress  and  hazard,  that  the 
Government  having  averted  imminent  danger  by  advancing  a  large 
sum  of  gold  on  account  of  the  Fantees,  earnestly  desired  the  Com- 
mittee to  authorise  and  enable  them  to  venture  an  Embassy,  to 
deprecate  these  repeated  calamities,  to  conciliate  so  poAverful  a 
monarch,  ;uid  to  propitiate  an  extension  of  commerce.  By  the 
store  ship  which  arrived  in  1817,  the  African  Committee  forwarded 
liberal  and  suitable  presents,  and  associated  scientific  with  the 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  5 

political  objects  of  the  Mission,  in  their  instructions,  which  I  submit 
in  explanation. 

"  In  order  to  enable  you  to  redeem  the  promise  to  the  King  of 
Ashantee  (and  as  we  are  sanguine  in  our  hopes  of  the  good  that 
may  result  from  it),  we  send  you  sundry  articles  as  presents  for 
him,  to  which  you  may  add  such  others  from  the  public  stores  as 
you  may  deem  desirable,  provided  they  will  not  materially  increase 
the  expense.  The  Committee  are  extremely  anxious  (and  in  this 
respect  the  wishes  of  all  classes  of  people  in  this  country  go  with 
them)  that  no  exertions  should  be  spared  to  become  better  ac- 
quainted with  the  Interior  of  Africa  ;  and  we  consider  the  existing 
state  of  things  to  be  most  favourable  for  undertaking  an  explo- 
ratory Mission  into  the  dominions  of  the  King  of  Ashantee.  If, 
therefore,  nothing  shall  have  transpired  in  the  interim  of  this 
dispatch  being  received  by  you,  to  make  the  measure  objection- 
able, we  wish  you  to  obtain  permission  from  the  King  to  send  an 
Embassy  to  his  capital :  if  granted,  you  will  select  three  Gentlemen 
(one  of  them  from  the  medical  department*)  for  that  service ;  and 
let  them  be  accompanied  by  a  respectable  escort,  you  giving  them 
the  fullest  instructions  for  their  gov!EVnment.  In  particular,  it  will 
be  necessary  for  them  to  observe,  and  report  upon,  the  nature  of 
the  country  ;  its  soil  and  products  ;  the  names,  and  distances,  and 
the  latitude  and  longitude  of  the  principal  places ;  and  its  most 
remarkable  natural  objects  :  the  appearance,  distinguishing  cha- 
racters, and  manners  of  the  natives  ;  their  religion,  laws,  customs, 
and  forms  of  government,  as  far  as  they  can  be  ascertained ;  and 
by  whom  each  place  is  governed.    When  at  Ashantee,  they  should 

*  We  recommend  his  being  well  supplied  with  dressings,  &c.  for  wounds,  and  bruises, 
so  that  he  may  be  able  to  assist  any  natives  whom  he  may  meet  with  requiring  his  aid : 
services  of  this  sort  give  Negroes  an  exalted  idea  of  white  men,  and  are  always  gratefully 
remembered. 


6  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

endeavour  to  obtain  the  fullest  information  of  the  countries  beyond, 
in  each  direction ;  particularly  whether  any  high  mountains,  lakes, 
or  large  rivers  are  known ;  and  the  width,  depth,  course,  and 
direction  of  the  latter ;  and  whether  the  water,  as  well  of  the  lakes 
as  the  rivers,  is  salt  or  fresh  :  and  how  far,  and  under  what  cir- 
cumstances, Avhite  men  may  travel  with  safety,  especially  in  a 
northerly  direction.  They  should  collect  the  most  accurate  infor- 
mation possible  of  the  extent,  population,  and  resources  of  the 
Ashantee  dominions,  and  should  report  fully  their  opinion  of  the 
inhabitants,  and  of  the  progress  they  may  have  made  in  the  arts 
of  civilized  life.  They  should  be  directed  also,  to  procure  and 
bring  away  (with  the  consent  of  the  chiefs)  any  specimens  of 
vegetable  and  mineral  productions  they  may  be  able  :  and  to 
ascertain  where  and  how  the  natives  collect  the  gold,  and  the 
extent  to  which  the  trade  in  that  article,  and  in  ivory,  might  be 
carried  on.  It  would,  we  conceive,  be  a  most  important  advan- 
tage, if  the  King  of  Ashantee,  and  some  of  his  chiefs,  could  be 
prevailed  upon  to  send  one  or  more  of  their  children  to  the  Cape, 
to  be  educated  at  the  expense  of  the  Committee  (to  be  attended 
by  their  own  servants,  if  required),  under  the  guarantee  of  the 
Governor  and  Council  for  their  personal  safety,  and  that  they 
should  be  sent  back  when  required. 

"  Another  great  object  would  be,  to  prevail  upon  the  King  to 
form,  and  keep  open,  a  path  not  less  than  six  feet  wide,  from  his 
capital,  as  far  as  his  territories  extend  towards  Cape  Coast,  you 
engaging  on  the  part  of  the  Committee,  to  continue  it  from  that 
point  to  Cape  Coast,  which  we  presume  may  be  done  at  a  very 
small  expense,  by  means  of  monthly  allowances  to  the  chiefs  of 
such  villages  as  be  in  that  line  ;  upon  condition  that  they  shall  not 
allow  the  path  to  be  overgrown  Avilh  underwood,  or  otherwise 
obstructed. 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  7 

"  It  may  perhaps  be  found,  that  high  mountains,  or  a  large 
river,  may  be  not  many  days  journey  beyond  Ashantee  ;  in  which 
case,  if  the  Gentlemen  composing  the  Embassy  feel  themselves 
secure  in  the  attempt,  they  may  probably  be  disposed  to  proceed 
so  far.  In  such  event,  we  authorize  you  to  pay  their  drafts  for 
any  moderate  sums  which  they  may  find  it  necessary  to  expend, 
as  well  as  for  the  general  objects  of  the  Mission. 

"  Besides  the  escort  of  which  we  have  spoken,  we  think  it 
necessary,  or  at  least  extremely  important,  that  the  Embassy 
should  be  accompanied  by  natives  of  character  and  consequence, 
conversant  with  the  Ashantee  language,  in  whom  you  have  perfect 
confidence,  selected,  one  from  each  of  the  towns  of  Cape  Coast, 
Accra,  and  Apollonia,  to  whom  you  may  make  reasonable  allow- 
ances for  their  time  and  trouble. 

"  We  have  said  that  you  should  obtain  the  permission  of  the 
King  of  Ashantee  to  send  the  Embassy  :  we  have  doubts  of  the 
expediency  of  requiring  hostages ;  but,  we  presume  you  will 
concur  with  us  in  thinking,  it  will  be  necessar}',  before  it  leaves 
Cape  Coast,  that  a  man  of  consequence  should  be  specially  sent 
down  by  the  King,  to  serve  as  a  guide  and  protector  ;  and  who,  on 
his  journey  to  Cape  Coast,  may  arrange  with  the  messenger  whom 
you  may  send  to  the  King,  respecting  the  places  at  which  the 
Embassy  may  stop  to  refresh,  and  give  directions  to  open  the  paths 
that  may  be  overgrown. 

"  The  Gentlemen  whom  you  may  select,  will  of  course  be  well 
advised  by  you  not  to  interfere  with  any  customs  of  the  natives, 
however  absurd  ;  or  in  any  way  to  give  them  offence.  And  they 
cannot  too  strongly  impress  upon  the  minds  of  the  King  and 
people  of  Ashantee,  that  the  only  objects  his  Britannic  Majesty 
has  in  view,  are,  to  extend  the  trade  with  that  country  ;  to  prevent 
all  interruption  to  their  free  communication  with  the  waterside ; 


8  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

and  to  instruct  their  children  in  reading,  writing,  &c.  from  which, 
as  may  be  easily  pointed  out,  the  greatest  advantages  must  arise 
to  the  Ashantees. 

"  From  what  has  been  said,  you,  Gentlemen,  will  perceive,  that 
in  selecting  the  Embassy,  it  is  important  that  one  of  the  persons 
composing  it  should  be  able  to  determine  the  latitude  and  longi- 
tude of  places,  and  that  both  shall  be  seasoned  to  the  climate;  of 
ability,  physical  and  mental;  of  cool  tempers,  and  moderate 
habits ;  and  possessed  of  fortitude  and  perseverance ;  and  that  in 
the  selection  of  their  escort  also,  regard  be  had  to  the  qualifications 
of  the  parties  in  those  respects.  Among  them  there  should  be  a 
bricklayer,  carpenter,  blacksmith,  gunsmith,  and  cooper,  with 
proper  tools  ;  if  these  persons  can  be  spared  for  the  purpose.  We 
wish  also  they  should  take  Avith  them  a  number  of  certificates 
regarding  Major  Peddie,  and  his  companions,  to  be  circulated  as 
distinctly  as  possible  in  the  Interior ;  for  though  the  period  may 
be  past  when  they  might  have  been  useful  to  those  travellers,  it  is 
yet  possible  that  they  may  be  of  use  in  making  generally  known 
the  object  of  Government  in  sending  white  men  to  explore  that 
country." 

The  suggestion  of  hostages  was  wholly  impracticable,  for  there 
was  not  even  lime  for  a  communication  Avith  the  King.  A  variety 
of  circumstances  conspired  to  urge  the  immediate  dispatch  of  the 
Mission ;  our  interests,  to  say  the  least,  imperiously  demanded  its 
early  interference;  and  had  we  waited  for  a  formal  permission  from 
the  King  to  relieve  the  difficulties  of  the  enterprise,  the  rainy  season 
would  have  been  too  far  advanced,  and  the  critical  moment  have 
escaped  us.  The  Governor  thought  it  more  advisable  to  dispatch 
the  Mission  without  an  escort,  and  two  native  soldiers  only  were 
added  to  the  bearers  of  the  baggage.  The  perusal  of  the  Governor's 
instructions  will  be  satisfactory  to  the  reader : 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  9 

Cape  Coast  Castle,  April  Idth,  1817 

Frederick  James,  Esq. 
Sir, 

In  accepting  your  voluntary  offer  of  conducting  the  Embassy  to 
the  King  of  Ashantee,  I  have  every  reason  to  beUeve,  that  from 
your  long  experience  in  this  country,  and  your  knowledge  of  the 
manners  and  habits  of  the  natives,  it  will  terminate  in  a  manner 
highly  creditable  to  yourself,  and  eventually  prove  of  the  greatest 
importance  to  the  commercial  interest  of  Great  Britain,  which  is 
the  more  immediate  object  of  the  Mission ;  however,  as  many  sub- 
jects of  scientific  research  may  be  associated  with  it,  they  are  par- 
ticularly recommended  to  your  attention.  For  this  purpose  Mr. 
Bowdich  will  accompany  you;  and  I  have  no  doubt  he  will  be 
found  perfectly  qualified  to  make  the  necessary  observations,  in 
which  you  will  afford  him  every  facility  and  assistance.  He  is 
provided  with  instruments  for  determining  the  latitude  and  longi- 
tude of  places.  Mr.  Hutchison,  writer,  and  Mr.  Tedlie,  assistant 
surgeon,  will  also  be  attached  to  the  expedition. 

The  Ashantees,  who  are  appointed  your  guides,  have  been 
selected  by  the  Ashantee  Captain  who  is  now  here.  They  will,  I 
hope,  aid  and  assist  you  in  every  thing  that  lays  in  their  power. 

In  addition  to  the  Committee's  instructions,  a  copy  of  which  you 
have  herewith,  you  will  attend  to  the  following : 

On  the  subject  of  your  journey,  X  have  nothing  to  observe 
further,  than,  that  I  hope  you  will  take  every  opportunity  of 
travelling  when  there  will  be  the  least  exposure  to  the  sun,  as  the 
officers  who  accompany  you  have  been  but  a  short  time  in  the 
country,  and  every  precaution  will  be  necessary  for  the  preservation 
of  their  health. 

As  soon  as  may  be  convenient  after  your  arrival  at  the  Ashantee 

c 


10  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

capital,  you  will  of  course  see  the  King,  and  deliver  him  the  various 
presents  in  the  name  of  the  African  Company,  to  be  received  by 
him  as  pledges  of  the  harmony  and  friendship  which  is  ever  to 
subsist  between  them ;  and  also  of  his  good  will  towards  the 
natives  residing  under  the  protection  of  their  different  forts.  You 
will  not  fail  to  impress  upon  his  mind,  the  great  power,  wealth,  and 
consequence  of  the  British  nation,  and  how  much  it  is  the  interest 
of  himself  and  his  subjects,  to  promote  and  perpetuate  their  present 
free  intercourse  with  the  water  side.  In  the  course  of  your  inter- 
view many  circumstances  will  doubtless  occur,  which  will  suggest 
various  other  matters  proper  to  be  mentioned  to  the  King,  all  which 
I  shall  leave  entirely  to  your  own  discretion. 

You  will  acquaint  the  King,  that  in  order  to  secure  a  correct 
communication  between  him  and  myself,  I  request  his  permission 
to  allow  an  officer  to  reside  constantly  at  Commassey,  who  will 
defray  all  his  own  expenses,  and  for  whom  you  will  build  a  house 
without  loss  of  time.  A  carpenter,  bricklayer,  and  cooper  are  sent 
Avith  you,  and  you  will  leave  them  with  Mr.  Hutchison,  who  will 
remain  as  Resident.  On  your  departure  you  will  give  him  full 
instructions  in  writing  for  his  future  government,  a  copy  of  which 
you  will  deliver  me  upon  your  return. 

You  will  keep  an  exact  diary  of  every  circumstance  possessing 
the  least  interest,  a  copy  of  which  you  will  transmit  me  by  every 
opportunity. 

In  the  course  of  your  stay  in  the  Ashantee  country,  you  will 
embrace  every  occasion  of  becoming  acquainted  with  the  politics 
of  that  nation,  of  ascertaining  its  extent  and  boundaries,  the  power 
of  the  King  over  the  lives  and  property  of  his  subjects,  the  pro- 
bable force  he  could  bring  into  the  field,  the  number  of  his  alhes, 
the  sources  and  amount  of  his  revenues.  Whether  he  is  tributary 
to  any  other  power,  and  what  nations  in  his  neighbourhood  are 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  II 

tributary  to  him?  The  amount  of  tribute,  and  in  what  articles 
paid  ?  The  rule  of  succession  to  the  throne  ?  What  are  the  punish- 
ments for  crimes  of  all  descriptions?  Who  are  the  persons  of  most 
consequence  next  to  the  King  ?  The  names  of  their  offices,  and  the 
extent  of  their  power :  by  whom,  or  how  paid  ?  What  are  the  most 
prominent  features  in  the  character,  manners,  and  habits  of  the 
people,  &c.  &c.  &c.? 

Are  any  hutnan  sacrifices  made  ?  Upon  what  occasions,  and  to 
what  extent?  How  are  prisoners  of  w^ar  now  disposed  of? 

Of  what  nation  are  the  Moors  that  frequent  the  Ashantee  country, 
and  for  what  purpose  do  they  go  there  ? 

Ascertain  the  current  medium  of  exchange,  whether  gold,  or 
cowries;  also  the  usual  prices  at  which  the  Ashantees  sell  the 
goods  they  purchase  from  the  Europeans  on  the  sea  coast;  and 
the  extent  of  their  commercial  relations  with  the  Interior. 

You  will  enquire  whether  any  European  travellers  have  ever 
been  seen  or  heard  of  in  any  of  the  countries  to  the  northward  ; 
and  what  became  of  them  ?  Whether  any  thing  be  known  of  the 
river  Niger,  or  Joliba,  as  it  is  called  by  the  natives  ?  This  informa- 
tion you  will  probably  obtain  from  the  Moors. 

Ascertain  the  position  of  the  Doncoe  country,  and  the  city  of 
Kong;  also  the  mountains  of  that  name.  Refer  to  Park's  Travels, 
and  acquire  as  much  information  as  possible  of  the  regions  lying 
between  Ashantee  and  the  last  places  he  visited.  In  short,  leave 
nothing  undone  that  may  add  to  our  present  imperfect  geographical 
knowledge  of  the  Interior. 

You  will  receive  herewith  copies  of  certificates  relative  to  Major 
Pedde's  expedition,  which  you  will  distribute  amongst  any  persons 
you  find  travelling  into  the  Interior  from  Ashantee. 

It  would  be  of  the  first  importance  to  have  a  road  cut  directly 
down  to  Cape  Coast ;  and  this  you  will  urge  to  the  King  in  the 


12  iMISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

strongest  manner.  Your  observations  will,  of  course,  enable  you  to 
point  out  the  proper  directions. 

I  inclose  a  sketch  of  a  treaty,  and  it  would  be  highly  desirable 
if  you  could  procure  its  ratification  by  the  King.  He  might  perhaps 
make  some  objection  at  first,  but  may  be  persuaded  at  length,  by 
your  address,  and  reasoning.  If  he  wished  any  trifling  alteration 
made,  you  might  use  your  discretion  in  this  respect. 

You  will  acquaint  the  King,  it  is  my  wish  that  in  future  he 
receive  his  company's  pay  at  this  Castle,  and  not  at  Accra,  as 
formerly.  Should  he  say  any  thing  of  an  increase  to  his  present 
allowance,  you  may  give  him  hopes  that  it  will  be  granted  to  a 
reasonable  extent,  provided  the  objects  of  this  Mission  be  fulfilled, 
and  after  twelve  months  experience  shall  have  proved  the  sin- 
cerity of  his  friendship  to  the  British  Government,  and  to  the 
natives  resident  under  its  protection  at  the  various  forts  on  the 
Coast. 

From  the  jealous  disposition  of  the  natives  of  Africa,  it  is  highly 
probable,  that  in  the  prosecution  of  your  enquiries,  you  will  be 
subject  to  many  unfavourable  suspicions.  These  you  will  take  all 
possible  care  to  remove,  by  the  most  candid  explanations  on  every 
point  that  may  be  required. 

You  will  particularly  explain  to  the  King,  the  ill  treatment  the 
people  of  Cape  Coast  have  experienced  from  those  of  Elmina, 
which  has  added  very  much  to  the  distresses  they  have  for  some 
time  suffered  from  the  extreme  scarcity  of  provisions ;  and  there 
is  reason  to  believe,  that  this  unjust  persecution  has  been  induced, 
from  their  presuming  on  their  connection  with  the  Ashantees. 
Being  perfectly  aware  that  it  has  been  done  without  the  concur- 
rence of  the  King;  I  have  no  doubt  but  he  will,  by  a  proper 
representation  of  the  affair  from  you,  exert  his  influence,  and 
prevent  what  is  at  present  to  be   apprehended,  and  what  the 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  13 

Elminas  are  endeavouring  to  provoke  —  a  war  between  the  two 
people. 

In  all  cases  not  provided  for  in  these  Instructions,  3'ou  have  of 
course  a  discretionary  power,  which  I  am  convinced  you  will 
make  use  of  with  deliberation  and  prudence,  and  with  becoming 
zeal  for  the  service  upon  which  you  are  employed. 

Wishing  you  a  prosperous  journey  and  a  safe  return, 

I  am,  Sir,  your  most  obedient  Servant, 

JOHN  HOPE  SMITH. 


14  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 


CHAPTER    II. 


The  Route,  and  Reception  of  the  Mission. 

1  HE  Mission  left  Cape  Coast  Castle  on  the  morning  of  the  22d  of 
April,  with  the  intention  of  quitting  the  water  side  at  Moree,  three 
miles  and  a  half  to  the  eastward  ;  but  on  reaching  it,  we  were  told 
that  the  path  thence  to  Pajntree's  croom,  always  bad,  was  then 
impassable  from  the  rains ;  and  that  we  must  proceed  to  Anna- 
maboe  before  we  struck  into  the  bush  for  the  Interior. 

The  reluctance  of  the  carriers,  who  had  been  pressed  into  the 
service  by  the  authorities  of  the  town,  became  thus  early  almost 
insuperable ;  the  consideration  of  pay  and  subsistence,  and  the 
reflection,  that  the  dearth  inflicted  by  the  invasions  the  Mission 
was  to  deprecate,  allowed  them  but  a  bare  existence  at  home, 
were  entirely  lost  in  their  aversion  to  the  undertaking,  which  was 
equally  influenced  by  jealousy  and  indolence :  eleven  deserted  the 
first  day;  and  the  slender  authority  of  the  King  and  caboceers  of 
Annamaboe,  delayed  the  procuring  of  others  to  replace  them  until 
the  next  evening.  One  party  was  then  started,  attended  by  a 
soldier  and  a  messenger,  as  they  persisted  in  laying  down  their 
loads,  even  in  the  town ;  and  many  of  the  Annamaboes  who  had 
been  procured,  after  lifting  their  packages,  which  were  of  moderate 
weight,  walked  off  again,  with  the  most  insolent  indifference.  The 
devices  by  which  these  people  displayed  their  ill  will  were  pecu- 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  15 

liarly  their  own,  and  none  could  be  more  ingeniously  tormenting. 
At  four  o'clock  on  Thursday  morning  we  started  the  remainder  of 
the  packages,  and  followed  them  at  half  past  six.  Proceeding 
about  two  miles  in  a  N,  N.W.  direction,  we  descended  a  steep 
hill,  a  quarter  of  a  mile  in  length,  and  entered  a  beautiful  valley, 
profusely  covered  with  pines,  aloes,  and  lilies  ;  and  richly  varied 
with  palm,  banana,  plantain,  and  guava  trees  :  the  view  was 
refreshed  by  gentle  risings  crowned  with  cotton  trees  of  a  stupen- 
dous size.     I  never  saw  soil  so  rich,  or  vegetation  so  luxuriant. 

The  first  croom  we  reached  was  Quama's,  about  three  miles  and 
a  half  from  Annamaboe ;  it  presented  but  a  few  hovels ;  and  we 
passed  through  three  others,  Simquoi,  Taphoo,  and  Nasmam,  just 
as  wretched  and  insignificant,  before  we  reached  Booka,  roman- 
tically situated  amidst  the  luxuriant  foliage  of  a  high  hill,  termi- 
nating the  valley.  Abra  is  about  three  miles  eastwai'd  of  this 
croom  :  it  has  been  entirely  deserted  since  the  last  invasion,  the 
Ashantee  army  under  Appia  Nanu  having  made  it  their  head 
quarters.  It  formerly  exceeded  Annamaboe,  but  the  little  that 
now  remains  is  in  ruin,  the  inhabitants  having  retired  to  the  small 
crooms  of  their  caboceer,  or  Captain  Quaggherce. 

Passing  through  Tachradi,  which  scarcely  existed  but  in  name, 
we  ascended  a  gentle  rising,  with  a  small  croom,  called  Acroo- 
froom,  on  the  left  hand.  The  astonishment  of  its  miserable  inhabi- 
tants engaging  our  attention,  the  extensive  area  of  the  summit 
burst  upon  us  with  the  more  effect.  It  was  environed  by  small 
groves  ;  and  clumps  of  cotton  trees  rose  so  happily  in  frequent 
spots,  as  to  afford  all  the  scenery  of  a  romantic  little  park ;  the 
broken  rays  of  the  sun  stealing  through  the  small  trees  in  the 
distance,  to  make  the  deep  shade  of  the  foreground  more  imposing. 
The  path  then  became  more  hilly,  and  the  landscape  fuller  of 
wood  :  our  descents  and  risings  fiequently  through  long  vistas,  so 


16  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

richly  gilded  with  the  sun  on  the  summits,  that,  impressed  witli 
the  description  of  Issert,  we  naturally  yielded  to  the  expectation, 
in  ascending  each  eminence,  that  it  would  afford  us  the  delightful 
prospect  of  an  open  country  ;  but  we  were  disappointed,  and 
passing  through  Dunnasee  and  Assoquah,  both  small  crooms,  the 
latter  situated  on  a  long  level,  about  three  miles  and  a  half  from 
Acroofroom,  we  shortly  after  arrived  at  Payntree's. 

On  the  higher  hills  the  soil  Avas  generally  gravel,  with  large 
stones ;  on  the  lesser,  white  flint  and  whinstone  abounded  :  the 
levels  presented  few  stones,  and  the  earth  was  black,  strong,  and 
rich,  producing  grass  from  four  to  ten  feet  high.  The  country  was 
very  thinly  inhabited,  and  more  sparingly  cultivated,  the  cassada 
frequent,  but  producing  little  from  the  want  of  cultivation. 

I  made  Payntree's  croom  barely  fifteen  miles  from  Annamaboe; 
judging  from  time,  it  w^as  guessed  to  be  eighteen  or  twenty ;  but 
the  impediments  which  the  path  almost  incessantly  presented  to  a 
hammock,  the  inequalities  of  the  ground,  and  many  delays  which 
insensibly  consumed  the  time,  conspired  to  make  such  a  calcula- 
tion of  distance  very  fallacious.  The  plan  I  adopted  throughout, 
though  laborious,  entitled  me  to  more  confidence  ;  and  the  obser- 
vations confirmed  the  pretension.  Mr.  Tedlie,  who  was  always 
just  ahead  of  myself,  took  the  angles  of  the  path  by  his  compass, 
which  I  pencilled  as  he  uttered  them,  with  their  several  lengths, 
allowing  four  yards  and  a  half  for  every  six  paces.  It  is  allowed 
too  by  the  natives  to  be  an  easy  four  hours  walk.  Several  hours 
elapsed  before  all  the  carriers  came  up ;  most  of  those  who  had 
been  started  by  us  the  preceding  day,  slept  in  the  bush,  and  one 
more  had  deserted. 

The  prevailing  courses  and  their  proportions  were  N.i ;  N.bW.|- ; 
N.N.W.i;  N.  N.E.| ;  the  rest  of  the  distance  being  made  up  of 
small  lengths,  in  every  point  of  the  compass,  from  S.W.  to  S.E.; 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  17 

the  variation  171°  W.  The  latitude  of  Payntree,  by  two  altitudes 
of  the  sun,  was  5°  20'  30"  N.;  the  longitude,  by  the  course  and 
distance,  as  afterwards  corrected,  1°  47'  W. 

We  received  the  compliments  of  Payntree  and  several  cabo- 
ceers,  under  a  large  tree,  and  were  then  conducted  to  a  neat  and 
comfortable  dwelling,  which  had  been  prepared  for  us  :  a  small 
square  area  afforded  a  shed  for  cooking  in  on  one  side,  and  a 
sleeping  room  in  each  of  the  others,  open  in  front,  but  well 
thatched,  and  very  clean  :  from  this  we  passed  to  our  sitting  room, 
the  floor  of  which  was  elevated  about  two  feet  from  the  ground . 

The  croom  Avas  prettily  situated  on  a  level,  encircled  by  very 
fine  trees,  and  consisted  of  a  very  broad  and  well  cleaned  street  of 
small  huts,  framed  of  bamboo,  and  neatly  thatched.  Just  beyond 
the  north  end  of  the  croom,  there  was  a  stream  running  to  the 
N.N.E.  and  more  than  a  mile  of  marshy  ground  was  distinguished 
by  the  deeper  shade  and  luxuriance  of  the  foliage.  We  observed 
a  great  number  of  small  birds,  which  were  even  more  beautiful 
from  their  delicate  symmetry,  than  their  brilliant  plumage ;  they 
were  generally  green,  with  black  wings,  and  their  nests  hanging 
from  the  trees. 

The  Ashantee  captain,  who  expected  to  continue  there  some 
months,  on  the  king's  business,  sent  us  a  sheep,  pleading  the 
scarcity,  and  his  being  a  stranger,  as  apologies  for  so  small  a  pre- 
sent. Old  Payntree  was  attentive  and  obhging ;  he  dashed  us  some 
fowls,  yams,  and  palm  wine.  We  remained  there  the  next  day,  to 
allow  our  people  to  procure  four  days  subsistence,  as  they  would 
not  be  able  to  meet  with  provision  on  the  path  during  that  period. 

I  walked  Avith  Mr.  Tedlie  along  a  very  neat  path  well  fenced, 
and  divided  by  stiles,  to  a  corn  plantation  of  at  least  twenty  acres, 
and  well  cultivated.  Payntree's  farm  house  was  situated  here,  and 
afforded  superior  conveniences ;  a  fowl  house,  a  pigeon  house,  and 

D 


1«  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

a  large  granary  raised  on  a  strong  stage.  As  we  returned  we  paid 
him  a  visit,  and  were  refreshed  with  some  excellent  palm  wine: 
his  dwelling  was  a  square  of  four  apartments,  which  were  entered 
from  an  outer  one,  where  a  number  of  drums  were  kept;  the 
angles  were  occupied  by  the  slaves,  and  his  own  room,  which  had 
a  small  inner  chamber,  was  decked  with  muskets,  blunderbusses, 
cartouch  belts  fantastically  ornamented,  and  various  insignia. 
The  order,  cleanliness,  and  comfort,  surprised  us ;  the  sun  had 
just  set,  and  a  cheerful  fire  on  a  clean  hearth  supported  the  evening 
meal.  The  old  man  was  seated  in  his  state  chair,  diverting  himself 
with  his  children  and  younger  wives,  the  elder  one  was  looking  on 
from  the  opposite  apartment  with  iiappy  indiiference ;  it  was  the 
first  scene  of  domestic  comfort  I  had  witnessed  among  the  natives. 
There  was  a  small  plantation  or  garden  neatly  fenced  in,  near  the 
house,  for  the  supply  of  the  family. 

On  Saturday  the  26th  we  left  Payntree's  croom,  and  proceeded 
through  two  romantic  little  valleys,  with  a  few  huts  in  each :  the 
variety  of  trees  increased  with  the  number,  and  ornamented  the 
hills  with  almost  every  tint  and  character  of  foliage :  the  path  was 
frequently  covered  with  water.  Just  before  we  reached  Cotta- 
coomacasa,  a  most  beautiful  landscape  opened,  the  fore-ground 
darkly  shaded  with  large  cotton  trees,  and  the  distance  composed 
of  several  picturesque  little  hills ;  their  fanciful  outlines,  and  the 
beautiful  variety  of  fresh  and  sombre  tint  of  the  small  groves  which 
encircled  them,  forcibly  reminded  me  of  the  celebrated  ride  by 
Grongar  hill,  from  Carmarthen  to  Llandilo. 

Cottacoomacasa  is  about  six  miles  and  a  quarter  from  Payntree's 
croom,  and  consisted  but  of  a  few  miserable  huts  and  sheds,  wliich 
scarcely  afforded  shelter,  and  were  close  and  filthy.  I  took, the 
angles  of  a  cotton  tree  near  us,  and  the  height  proved  to  be  139 
feet ;  generally  speaking,  those  we  had  passed  were,  to  appearance, 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  19 

much  higher.  The  bearers  had  all  settled  themselves  here,  and  not 
contented  with  a  long  rest,  refused  for  some  time  to  proceed  until  the 
next  day ;  several  were  intoxicated  with  the  rum  from  some  ankers 
ihey  had  designedly  broken.  We  started  again  however  about 
half  past  three,  and  almost  immediately  entered  a  large  forest 
impervious  to  the  sun ;  the  risings  were  frequent  but  gentle ;  the 
path,  crooked  and  overgrown,  presented  such  constant  obstacles 
to  a  hammock,  that  Mr.  Hutchison,  Mr.  Tedhe,  and  myself,  were 
glad  to  dismount,  and  found  it  was  much  more  comfortable  as  well 
as  more  expeditious  to  walk ;  the  only  inconvenience  was  the 
troops  of  large  black  ants,  which  were  too  thick  to  be  avoided,  and 
stung  us  sadly.  We  passed  two  little  streams  running  E.  N.  E. 
About  six  miles  from  Cottacoomacasa  we  found  all  the  baggage, 
the  people  making  their  fires,  and  settling  themselves  for  the  night; 
it  was  almost  dark ;  Quamina,  our  Ashantee  guide,  had  gone  on 
without  us,  and  Mr.  James  we  knew  must  be  far  behind ;  Ave 
therefore  determined  to  halt  for  the  night,  and  our  hammocks  were 
slung  to  the  trees.  The  distance  marched  this  day  was  twelve 
miles.  The  longitude  of  Cottacoomacasa  was  one  mile  E.  of  that 
of  Payntree  by  account,  that  of  our  resting  place  1°  46'  30'  W.  and 
the  lat.  5°  28'  N. 

The  next  morning  we  continued  our  march  through  the  same 
dark  solitude,  and  passing  three  small  streams  running  E.  we 
reached  Mansue  soon  after  ten  o'clock.  We  had  scarcely  sealed 
ourselves  under  a  tattered  shed,  which  could  not  defend  us  from 
the  burning  sun,  when  we  were  encircled  by  the  cooking  fires  of 
the  party,  and  nothing  but  violence  could  remove  them  to  a  proper 
distance. 

Mansue  had  been  the  great  Eantee  market  for  slaves  from  the 
Interior,  and  its  former  consequence  was  evident  from  the  extent 
of  its  site,  over  which  a  few  sheds  only  were  now  scattered. 


20  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

We  proceeded  again  at  one  o'clock,  and  passing  through  a  small 
river,  Assooneara,  running  eastward,  we  came  to  a  second,  called 
Okee,  running  in  the  same  direction  to  the  Amissa,  which  falls 
into  the  sea  between  Annamaboe  and  Tantuni.  We  passed  five  or 
six  swamps,  one  nearly  half  a  mile  long ;  in  these  the  soil  was  a 
dark  clay,  but  otherwise  gravelly.  We  halted  in  the  woods  at  a 
spot  wliere  our  guide  Quamina  was  busied  in  cutting  down  the 
underwood  to  accommodate  himself  and  his  women ;  the  bearers, 
resolute  in  their  perverseness,  had  gone  on  with  our  provisions  and 
clothes.  The  ground  of  our  resting  place  was  very  damp,  and 
swarmed  with  reptiles  and  insects ;  we  had  great  difficulty  in 
keeping  up  our  fires,  which  we  were  the  more  anxious  to  do  after 
a  visit  from  a  panther :  an  animal  which,  the  natives  say,  resembles 
a  small  pig,  and  inhabits  the  trees,  continued  a  shrill  screeching 
through  the  night;  and  occasionally  a  wild  hog  bounced  by, snorting 
through  the  forest,  as  if  closely  pursued.  This  day's  distance  was 
eight  miles,  and  the  course  N.  ^  N.  b.  E.  -i-.  Lat.  and  long,  by 
account  5°  34'  N.  and  1°  48'  W.  Thermometer  in  shade  6  A.  M.  74. 

We  started  the  next  morning  at  seven  o'clock,  and  after  three 
miles  and  a  half  crossed  a  small  river  called  Gaia,  and  sometimes 
Aniabirrim,  from  a  croom  of  that  name  being  formerly  in  its  neigh- 
bourhood ;  it  was  ten  yards  wide  and  two  feet  deep,  and  ran  to  the 
E.  just  across  the  path,  but  afterwards  N.  N,  E.  to  the  Amissa. 
Here  Mr.  Hutchison  waited  for  Mr.  James  to  come  up,  whilst 
Mr.  Tedlie  and  myself  walked  on  to  overtake  the  people.  The 
doom  and  iron-wood  trees  were  frequent ;  the  path  was  a  labyrinth 
of  the  most  capricious  windings,  the  roots  of  the  cotton  trees 
obstructing  it  continually,  and  our  progress  was  generally  by 
stepping  and  jumping  up  and  down,  rather  than  walking;  the 
stems  or  caudices  of  these  trees  projected  from  the  trunks  like 
flying  buttresses,  their  height  frequently  20  feet.     Immense  trunks 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  21 

of  fallen  trees  presented  constant  barriers  to  our  progress,  and 
increased  our  fatigues  from  the  labour  of  scaling  them  :  we  were 
also  frequently  obliged  to  wait  the  cutting  away  of  the  underwood 
before  we  could  proceed,  even  on  foot.  The  large  trees  were 
covered  with  parasites  and  convolvuli,  and  the  climbing  plants, 
like  small  cables,  ascending  the  trunks  to  some  height,  abruptly 
shot  downwards,  crossed  to  the  opposite  trees,  and  threaded  each 
other  in  such  a  perplexity  of  twists  and  turnings,  that  it  soon  became 
impossible  to  trace  them  in  the  general  entanglement.  We  passed 
through  two  small  streams  running  S.  and  several  swamps,  richly 
covered  with  palm  trees.  Parrots  and  crown  birds  were  numerous. 
At  the  end  of  ten  miles  we  came  to  a  small  river  called  Quatoa, 
four  yards  wide,  also  running  eastward  to  the  Amissa  ;  and  imme- 
diately after  to  a  few  sheds  bearing  the  same  name,  Avhere  we 
found  the  last  party  of  the  bearers  all  lying  down,  and  a  soldier 
ineffectually  endeavouring  to  rouse  them  :  we  started  them  with 
difficulty.  A  mile  and  a  half  thence  we  met  with  the  Okee  again, 
running  over  its  rocky  bed  in  a  transparent  stream,  which  reflected 
the  richest  foliage;  its  course  S.W.  ^  W.,  the  breadth  nine  yards, 
and  we  stepped  across  it  from  rock  to  rock.  We  soon  afterwards 
Avalked  through  the  Antoonso,  a  smaller  river  running  W.  S.W., 
which  probably  crossed  the  path  to  the  eastward  in  one  of  the 
small  streams  near  Cottacoomacasa,  as  every  report  confirmed  its 
also  running  to  the  Amissa ;  it  was  very  near  Fousou,  where  we 
had  scarcely  arrived,  before  the  Fantees,  such  was  their  perverse- 
ness,  insisted  upon  going  on,  the  Cape  Coast  messengers  either 
had  no  influence  or  would  not  exert  it;  Ave  soon  stopped  them 
with  the  assistance  of  Quamina,  our  Ashantee  guide,  Mr.  James 
not  coming  up  until  late  in  the  evening.  Fousou  was  formerly  a 
large  town,  but  had  been  destroyed  by  the  Ashantee  invasion  of 
1807 ;  it  presented  but  a  few  sheds,  in  one  of  which  we  observed 


22  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

the  Ashantee  traders  to  deposit  yams  and  plantains  to  subsist  them 
on  their  return ;  so  severe  was  the  scarcity  in  the  Fantee  country  : 
we  could  purchase  nothing,  and  were  admitted  to  the  best  hovel 
with  relucLance.  This  day's  distance  was  14  miles.  The  courses 
N.  i  N.  N.W.  i  N.  b  ^Y.  i.  The  latitude  of  Fousou  by  observation, 
was  5°  43'  20''  N.  and  the  longitude  by  account  1°  52'  W. 

The  next  morning,  the  29th  of  April,  we  marched  seven  miles  to 
Ancomassa,  a  name  given  to  half  a  dozen  sheds  ;  the  path  was  still 
of  the  same  rugged  nature,  and  the  gloom  unvaried.  A  strong 
fragrance  was  emitted  from  the  decaying  plants  and  trees  of  the 
mimosa  kind,  whilst  others  in  the  same  incipient  state  of  putrefac- 
tion were  very  offensive.  We  passed  through  two  small  rivers, 
Bettensin  and  Soubin,  six  yards  wide,  and  shallow ;  they  both  ran 
eastward  to  the  Owa,  of  which  I  could  not  learn  more  than  that  it 
emptied  itself  into  the  Boosempra. 

We  proceeded  at  four  o'clock,  and  had  not  gone  two  miles  on 
our  gloomy  route  before  it  became  dark.  The  path  was  level,  but 
very  swampy,  and  generally  covered  with  water.  The  fire-flies 
spangled  the  herbage  in  every  direction,  and  from  the  strength  of 
their  light,  alternately  excited  the  apprehension  of  wild  beasts,  and 
the  hope  that  we  approached  the  resting  place  our  guide,  whom 
we  never  saw  after  starting,  had  told  us  of  in  the  morning.  The 
greatest  fear  of  the  people  was  of  the  spirits  of  the  woods,  (whom 
Mr.  Park's  interpreter,  Johnson,  propitiated  by  a  sacrifice  between 
Jing  and  Gangaddi)  and  the  discordant  yells  in  which  they 
rivalled  each  other  to  keep  up  their  courage,  mingled  with  the 
howls  and  screeches  from  the  forest,  imposed  a  degree  of  horror 
on  this  dismal  scene,  which  associated  it  with  the  imaginations  of 
Dante.  Three  or  four  times  we  suddenly  emerged  from  the  most 
awful  gloom  into  extensive  areas,  on  which  the  stars  shed  a 
brilliancy  of  light  gradually  softened  into  the  deep  shade  which 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  23 

encompassed  them;  they  were  the  sites  of  large  and  populous 
crooms  destroyed  in  the  Ashantee  invasions.  About  nine  o'clock 
we  discovered  a  few  miserable  sheds,  which  the  noise  of  the 
bearers,  who  had  long  arrived,  convinced  us  to  be  Accomfodey. 
We  had  passed  two  small  rivers,  the  Aprinisee  and  Annuia,  both 
running  to  the  Boosempra.  This  day's  distance  was  11  miles,  and 
the  courses  N.  ~  N.  b  W.  i.  The  lat.  and  long,  by  account  5°  49' 
N.  and  1°  55'  W.    Thermometer  11a.  m.  80. 

We  marched  early  the  next  morning.  The  scenery  of  the  forest, 
excepting  on  the  banks  of  the  small  rivers,  was  very  naked  of 
foliage,  and  only  presented  a  harsh  and  ragged  confusion  of  stems 
and  branches  intricately  blended.  We  passed  a  small  river  soon 
after  leaving  Accomfodey,  bearing  the  same  name  and  running 
eastward  ;  and  shortly  after  another,  six  yards  wide  and  two  feet 
deep  (the  Berrakoo),  running  N.  E.  to  the  Boosempra.  The  path 
was  sometimes  trackless,  and  appeared  to  have  been  little  used 
since  the  invasion  of  1807;  several  human  skulls  were  scattered 
through  this  dark  solitude,  the  relics  of  the  butcher3\  We  halted 
about  two  o'clock  by  Mr.  James's  direction,  and  passed  the  night 
in  the  forest  This  day's  distance  was  eight  miles,  the  prevailing 
courses  N.  i  N.bW.  -i,  N.N.W.  i  N.bE.  |.  The  latitude  and 
longitude  by  account  5°  53'  N.  1°  55'  W.  Thermometer  2  p.  m. 
88f,  7  p.  m.  82^. 

The  next  morning  we  passed  some  sheds,  on  the  sites  of  the 
crooms  Dansamsou  and  Meakirring.  At  the  end  of  five  miles  and 
a  quarter,  the  herbage  to  the  right  disclosed  the  cheerful  reflections 
of  the  sun  from  the  water ;  and  we  descended  through  a  small 
vista  of  the  forest,  to  the  banks  of  the  Boosempra  or  Chamah  river. 
Nothing  could  be  more  beautiful  than  its  scenery  :  the  bank  on  the 
south  side  was  steep,  and  admitted  but  a  narrow  path  ;  that  on  the 
north  sloping  ;  on  which  a  small  Fetish  house,  under  the  shade  of 


24  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

a  cachou  tree,  fixed  the  eye ;  whence  it  wandered  over  a  rich 
variet}'  of  tint  and  foliage,  in  which  light  and  shade  were  most 
hnppil}^  blended  :  the  small  rocks  stole  through  the  herbage  of  the 
banks,  and  now  and  then  ruffled  the  water :  the  doom  trees 
towering  in  the  shrubbery,  waved  to  the  most  gentle  air  a  rich 
foliage  of  dark  green,  mocking  the  finest  touch  of  the  pencil;  the 
tamarind  and  smaller  mimosas  heightening  its  effect  by  their 
livelier  tint,  and  the  more  piquant  deUcacy  of  their  leaf:  the  cotton 
trees  overtopped  the  whole,  en  wreathed  in  convolvuli,  and  several 
elegant  little  trees,  unknown  to  me,  rose  in  the  background,  inter- 
mixed with  palms,  and  made  the  coup  d'oeil  enchanting.  The 
bright  rays  of  the  sun  were  sobered  by  the  rich  reflections  of  the 
water ;  and  there  was  a  mild  beauty  in  the  landscape,  uncongenial 
to  barbarism,  which  imposed  the  expectation  of  elegance  and 
refinement.  I  attempted  a  sketch,  but  it  was  far  beyond  my  rude 
pencil ;  the  expression  of  the  scene  could  only  have  been  traced 
in  the  profile  of  every  tree ;  and  it  seemed  to  defy  an^^  touches, 
but  those  of  a  Claude  or  a  Wilson,  to  depict  the  life  of  its  beauty. 
I  took  two  angles  from  a  base  on  the  south  side,  which  gave  the 
width  of  the  river,  forty  three  yards ;  the  depth  was  7  feet,  and 
the  course  N.W.^W.  with  a  very  strong  current.  A  small  river 
called  Nimea,  ran  into  it,  close  to  our  right  as  we  landed  :  we 
crossed  in  the  hollow  trunk  of  a  tree,  thirty  feet  long,  the  ends 
plastered  up  with  sticks  and  swish. 

Mansue  was  said  to  have  been  the  last  town  of  the  Fantee  terri- 
tory ;  but  we  had  no  opportunity  for  comparison  until  we  passed 
the  river,  the  country  thitiierto  presenting  all  the  gloom  of  depo- 
pulation, and  the  forest  fast  recovering  the  sites  of  the  large  towns 
destroyed  in  the  Ashantee  invasions.  The  inhabitants  of  the  few 
wretched  hovels,  remotely  scattered,  set-med  as  if  they  had  tied  to 
them  as  outcasts  from  society ;  they  were  lost  even  to  curiosity,  and 


MISSION  TO  ASIIANTEE.  25 

manners  were  brutal  and  sullen.*     We  could  purchase  nothing  for 
our  subsistence. 

The  scene  brightened  from  our  crossing  the  Boosempra ;  the 
path  improved,  and  Prasoo,  the  first  town,  only  three  quarters  of  a 
mile  from  the  river,  presented  a  wide  and  clean  street  of  tolerably 
regular  houses  ;  the  inhabitants  clean  and  cheerful,  left  their 
various  occupations  to  gratify  their  curiosity,  and  saluted  us  in  a 
friendly  and  respectful  manner:  indeed  the  Assins  may  be  con- 
sidered, collectively,  a  more  mannerly  and  orderly  people  than  the 
Ashantees.  Kickiwherree,  one  mile  and  a  half  distant,  was  a 
larger  town,  not  so  regular,  but  presenting  the  same  neat  appear- 
ance, improved  by  the  Avhite-washing  of  many  of  the  houses.  We 
halted  here  under  the  ganian-f  tree,  used,  generally  speaking,  for 
recreation  only,  palavers  being  talked  in  the  open  fronts  of  the 
houses.  We  were  conducted  to  a  comfortable  dwelling,  affording 
us  four  very  clean  rooms,  about  12  feet  by  7,  in  which  there  were 
shelves  containing  many  articles  of  superior  domestic  comfort ;  a 
curtain  or  skreen  of  bamboo  let  down  in  the  open  front,  and  the 
floors  raised  about  a  foot  and  half  from  the  ground ,  were  washed 
daily  with  an  earth  of  the  neighbourhood,  which  coloured  them 
Etruscan  red.  The  iron  stone  abounded.  Kickiwherree  was  7 
miles  from  the  previous  resting  place,  and  the  prevailing  courses 
N.i  N.b.W.i.  The  latitude  by  observation  was  5°  56'  40"  N ;  the 
longitude  by  account  1°  57'  W.  Thermometer  8  a.  m.  77 ; 
1  p.m.  91. 

My  observations  had  not  been  so  frequent  as  I  wished  ;  the 
nature  of  the  country,  and  the  season  of  the  year  were  both  very 

*  Ever}'  account  I  received  afterwards,  confirmed  the  boundary  of  the  Fantee  and 
Assin  territories  to  be  between  Mansue  and  Fousou ;  also  that  Ancomassa,  Accomfodey, 
Dansamsou,  Meaklrring,  &c.  &c.  had  all  been  large  Assin  crooms,  destroyed  with  many 
others  in  their  neighbourhood,  in  the  Ashantee  invasion  of  1807. 

f  This  is  the  same  tree  as  the  banian  or  India  fig. 

E 


26  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

unfavourable  to  them.  I  worked  the  double  altitudes,  invariably 
by  Dr.  Pemberton's  rule  in  Keith's  trigonometry,  which  requires 
no  assumed  latitude,  and  is  in  all  cases  accurate. 

Mr.  James  having  determined  to  rest  the  next  day  at  Kicki- 
wherree,  we  did  not  proceed  until  Saturday  the  3rd  of  May.  We 
passed  through  a  small  river  close  to  the  town,  called  the  Ading, 
six  yards  wide  and  two  feet  deep;  and  soon  after  a  second,  the 
Animiasoo,  nine  yards  wide,  and  three  feet  deep,  both  running  to 
the  Boosempra;  close  to  the  latter  was  a  large  croom  of  the  same 
name,  the  seat  of  Cheboo's  government.  Pagga  and  Atobiasee 
were  also  large  crooms  near  each  other,  and  within  four  miles  of 
Kickiwherrce.  At  Atobiasee  was  a  small  river  called  Prensa,  five 
yards  wide,  and  two  feet  deep,  which  ran  E.S.E.  to  the  Boosempra : 
two  miles  thence  we  came  to  Becquama,  a  very  old  croom,  with  a 
river  nine  yards  Avide,  called  Prapong,  running  E.  by  S.  to  the 
Boosempra;  and  at  the  end  of  nine  miles  we  halted  at  Asharaman, 
a  small  croom  on  an  eminence,  where  the  Assins  under  Apootey 
and  Cheboo,  first  engaged  the  Ashantees  in  1807.  There  was  a 
small  plot  of  corn  near  this  croom,  the  first  we  had  seen  since  we 
left  Payntree,  though  every  croom  was  surrounded  by  a  tract  of 
cultivated  land,  or  plantation  of  plantains.  The  path  continued 
through  forest.  Distance  8  miles.  Courses  N.  ~.  Latitude  by 
observation,  5°  59'  20".  Longitude  by  course  and  distance 
1°  57'  40"  W.     Thermometer  6  a.  m.  7t),  p.  m.  89- 

The  next  day  we  passed  through  Ansa,  a  large  croom,  where 
Amoo  had  governed  ;  north-west  of  which,  at  a  little  distance,  was 
Aboiboo,  the  residence  of  his  enemy  Apootey.  A  small  river  near 
Ansa,  called  Parakoomee,  eleven  yards  wide,  and  three  feet  deep, 
ran  south  to  a  larger,  called  Ofim  or  Foom,  which  rises  six  days 
northward  of  Coomassie,  and  falls  into  the  Boosempra  some  miles 
Avestward  of  our  crossing.     The  path  was  very  swampy,  and  we 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  27 

did  not  reach  Akrofroom  until  three  o'clock  :  this  was  b}^  far  the 
largest  croom  we  had  seen.  The  heavy  rains  during  the  night 
floated  us  in  our  lodgings,  and,  as  Quamina  reported,  rendered  the 
path  to  Moisee  impassable  for  the  next  day  ;  consequently  we  did 
not  proceed  until  Tuesday  the  6th.  Distance  12  miles.  Courses  N.i, 
N.  N.W.i.  Latitude  by  observation,  6°  5' 40".  Long:  C  and  D 
2"  2'.  W.  The  path  still  through  forest,  presented  frequent  accli- 
vities, and  the  iron  stone,  and  a  soft  grey  rock  abounded  ;  the  soil 
was  sometimes  gravelly,  but  generally  of  a  red  coloured  clay  used 
in  the  native  pottery.  We  passed  the  Parakoomee  again  twice, 
and  at  the  end  of  11  miles  halted  at  Moisee, 

"  CiDgebant  silvae ;   quern  collibus  undique  curvis," 

the  last  Assin  town,  at  the  foot  of  three  high  hills  covered  with 
wood,  bearing  W.  N.  W.,  N.,  and  N.  N.  E. ;  the  barriers  of  the 
Ashantee  kingdom.  Coursfe  N.i,  N.  W.b.  N.f .  N.b.E.|.  Latitude 
by  observation  6°  8'  50"  N.  Longitude  C  and  D  2'  4'  20"  W.  The 
thermometer  was  broken  on  the  4th. 

We  passed  the  northern  boundary  the  next  morning;  the  ascent 
was  a  mile  and  a  half  in  length,  and  very  rocky ;  a  small  river 
called  the  Bohmen  ran  S.W.  to  the  Jim,  which  falls  into  the 
Ofim  :  the  water  of  the  Bohmen  is  said  to  instil  eloquence,  and 
numerous  Ashantees  repair  annually  to  drink  of  it :  it  flowed  in  a 
very  clear  stream,  over  a  bed  of  gravel,  and  was  three  feet  deep, 
and  eight  yards  broad.  The  expectation  of  an  open  country  was 
again  disappointed  ;  I  bore  several  eminent  points,  in  the  hope  of 
being  able  to  do  so  again  at  some  distance,  and  of  thus,  with  the 
intermediate  course,  checking  the  distance  computed  by  paces  ; 
but  the  forest  soon  shut  them  out  entirely.  The  first  Ashantee 
croom  was  Quesha;  and  we  soon  after  passed  through  Fohmannee, 
which  had  been  a  very  considerable  town.  We  stopped  there 
awhile  at  the  request  of  a  venerable  old  man,  who  regaled  us  with 


28  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

some  palm  wine  and  fruit :  his  manners  were  very  pleasing,  and 
made  it  more  painful  to  us  to  hear  that  his  life  was  forfeited  to 
some  superstitious  observances,  and  that  he  only  waited  the  result 
of  a  petition  to  the  king  to  commiserate  his  infirmities  so  far  as  to 
allow  him  to  be  executed  at  his  OAvn  croom,  and  to  be  spared  the 
fatigue  of  a  journey  to  the  capital :  he  conversed  cheerfully  with 
us,  congratulated  himself  on  seeing  white  men  before  he  died,  and 
spread  his  cloth  over  the  log  with  an  emotion  of  dignity  rather 
than  shame  :  his  head  arrived  at  Coomassie  the  day  after  we  had. 
On  ascending  the  hill,  the  soil  became  a  dark  brown  clay,  and 
very  productive.  We  passed  the  first  large  plantation  of  corn  we 
had  seen  since  we  left  Payntree,  and  halted  at  Doompassee.  Dis- 
tance 6  miles.  Courses  N.  •§■.  N.  N.AV.  f.  N.  W.  i;  Latitude  by 
observation,  6°  11'  30". 

Doompassee  had  been  a  very  large  croom,  but  the  caboceer 
having  intrigued  with  one  of  Sai  Cudjoe's  wives,  who  had  per- 
mission to  visit  her  family  in  this  place,  the  greater  part  of  it  was 
destroyed  in  consequence,  and  the  caboceer  decapitated  :  the 
woman  possessing  irresistible  art  in  practising  upon  the  numerous 
admirers  of  her  beauty,  the  king  spared  her  life,  and  employed  her 
thenceforth  to  inveigle  those  distant  caboceers,  whose  lives  or 
properties  were  desirable  to  him.  It  was  the  most  industrious 
town  on  the  path ;  cloths,  beads,  and  pottery  were  manufacturing 
in  all  directions,  and  the  blacksmiths'  forges  were  alvva3's  at  work. 
The  intelligence  of  the  beginning  of  the  King's  fetish  week,  and 
Mr.  James's  attack  of  fever,  delayed  us  at  Doompassee,  and  a 
messenger  was  dispatched  in  the  interim  to  announce  our  approach. 
During  our  stay,  I  observed  an  eclipse  of  J  iipiter's  first  sateUite, 
which  gave  the  longitude  2°  6'  W. 

We  did  not  leave  Doompassee  until  the  14th  of  May  ;  after  two 
miles,  passing  a  small  stream  running  N.W.  we  ascended  a  high 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  29 

hill,  on  which  a  large  croom,  called  Tiabosoo,  was  situated.  I 
looked  into  a  pit  here  six  feet  deep ;  the  first  stratum  was  vegetable 
mould,  the  second  gravel,  the  third,  a  kind  of  potter's  clay,  and 
the  remaining  of  brittle  stone  of  a  reddish  brown,  resembling  that 
they  call  cabouc  in  the  East  Indies.  The  next  croom  was  San- 
quanta,  where  the  path  took  an  easterly  direction,  and  about  seven 
miles  from  Doompassee  we  passed  Datiasoo,  where  large  quantities 
of  pottery  were  manufacturing,  exclusively  :  it  was  not  more  than 
a  mile  distant  from  Dadawasee,  where  we  found  a  messenger  from 
the  king,  expressing  his  regret  that  we  had  come  up  in  the  rainy 
season,  as  he  had  heard  it  was  a  very  unhealthy  one  for  white  men, 
and  appointing  us  to  enter  the  capital  on  the  Monday  following; 
he  sent  us  a  present  of  a  sheep,  forty  yams,  and  two  ounces  of 
gold  for  our  table  ;  he  had  also  given  six  ackies  to  our  messenger, 
who  returned  at  the  same  time.  The  path  had  been  cleared  by 
the  king's  order,  the  plantations  became  more  frequent  and  exten- 
sive, and  numerous  paths  branching  off  from  that  we  travelled, 
shewed  that  the  country  was  thickly  inhabited,  and  the  intercourse 
of  the  various  parts  direct  and  necessary  for  an  interchange  of 
manufacture  and  produce :  the  crooms  hitherto  had  appeared 
insulated.  The  Acassey  or  blue  dye  plant  grew  profusely.  Distance 
seven  miles.  Courses  N.  i,  N.bW.  i,  N.  N.W.  i,  N.  N.  E.  j^. 
Latitude  by  observation  6°  16'  20"  N.  long :  C  and  D  2°  7'  30"  W. 
The  next  day,  leaving  Dadawasee,  close  to  which  was  another 
large  croom  called  ModjaAvee,  we  descended  a  very  steep  hill,  and 
passed  tlie  Dankaran  or  Mankaran,  a  small  river,  in  the  rainy 
season  eleven  yards  wide  and  four  feet  deep,  running  to  the 
Birrim :  not  far  from  this  river  was  Sahnfoo,  and  a  short  distance 
from  that  croom,  a  smaller  river  called  Yansee,  running  N.  N.W. 
We  then  passed  through  Korraman,  near  which  was  the  small 
river  Dansabow,  running  westward,  and  three  other  large  crooms, 


30  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Aquinasee  (having  a  neatly  fenced  burial  ground,)  Aniafou,  and 
Agabimah ;  crossing  another  small  river  called  Soubirree,  near  the 
latter,  we  reached  Assiminia,  distant  eight  miles  from  Dadawasee. 
The  path  was  frequently  eight  feet  wide,  and  kept  as  neatly  as  that 
of  a  garden  in  the  environs  of  the  crooms,  which  now  disclosed 
themselves  very  prettily  at  some  distance.  Courses  N.  -i,  N.bE.  ^, 
N.  N.  E.  ^.  Latitude  by  observation  6"  22',  longitude  C  and  D 
2»  7'  50"  W. 

There  was  a  violent  tornado  in  the  night,  during  almost  the 
whole  of  which  the  rain  continued  in  torrents,  increasing  the  small 
streams  near  the  town  from  ancle  to  three  feet  deep.  Almost  all 
the  inhabitants  were  emploj^ed  in  weaving  the  staple  manufacture 
of  Assiminia,  which  was  formerly  of  much  greater  extent.  Mr. 
James  rested  here  the  whole  of  the  next  day,  and  on  Saturday  we 
proceeded  through  Boposoo  (on  a  very  high  hill),  Agemuni,  Yoko, 
and  Abountum ;  near  which  we  crossed  the  Biaqua,  running  west 
to  the  Jim,  and  about  seven  yards  wide  and  two  feet  deep; 
between  this  and  Sarrasou,  where  we  halted,  were  two  large 
crooms,  Pootooaga  and  Fiasou. 

The  path  was  continually  well  cleared  :  each  croom  presented 
one  Avide  central  street,  with  the  ganian  or  cachou  trees  at  the 
extremities.  The  soil  ceased  to  be  sandy,  and  became  a  reddish 
earth  :  we  observed  some  quartz,  but  silex  prevailed.  Distance 
11  miles.  Courses  N.i,  N.  N.  E.^.  Lat.  by  observation,  6°  30'  20". 
Long.  C.  and  D.  2'  6'  30." 

The  river  Dah  runs  close  to  Sarrasou,  rising  at  Sekooree  near 
Dwabin,  and  falling  into  the  Ofim  at  Measee  in  the  Warsaw  path; 
it  is  generally  about  sixteen  yards  wide,  and  four  leet  deej).  There 
was  an  ingenious  fishing  we\r  in  this  river;  two  ro\^s  of  very 
strong  wicker  work  were  fixed  across  it,  supported  against  the 
rapidity  of  the  stream  by  large  stakes,  driven  into  the  ground 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  31 

obliquely  on  each  side  of  them,  and  connected  above  and  below 
by  the  trunks  of  two  large  trees.  The  funnel-shaped  baskets, 
thickly  inserted  at  the  bottom,  were  of  spht  cane,  and  about 
twelve  feet  long.  There  are  large  plantations  of  corn  around 
Sarrasou,  which  is  a  great  nursery  for  pigs.  We  left  it  on  Monday 
morning,  the  19th,  and  passing  through  a  small  croom,  Oyoko, 
stopped  at  another,  Agogoo,  about  four  miles  distant,  to  dress 
ourselves  in  full  uniform.  The  soil  from  Sarrasou  was  a  rich  black 
mould,  and  there  were  continued  plantations  of  corn,  yams,  ground 
nuts,  terraboys,  and  encruma  :  the  yams  and  ground  nuts  were 
planted  with  much  regularity  in  triangular  beds,  with  small  drains 
around  each,  and  carefully  cleared  from  weeds. 

Two  miles  from  Agogoo,  we  crossed  the  marsh  which  insulates 
Coomassie  ;  the  breadth  at  that  part  forty  yards,  and  the  depth 
three  feet.  Being  within  a  mile  of  the  capital,  our  approach  was 
announced  to  the  king,  who  desired  us  by  his  messengers  to  rest 
at  a  little  croom,  called  Patiasoo,  until  he  had  finished  washing, 
when  captains  would  be  deputed  to  conduct  us  to  his  presence. 
Distance  6f  miles.    Courses  N.|,  N.  N.W.i. 

We  entered  Coomassie  at  two  o'clock,  passing  under  a  fetish,  or 
sacrifice  of  a  dead  sheep,  wrapped  up  in  red  silk,  and  suspended 
between  two  lofty  poles.  Upwards  of  5000  people,  the  greater 
part  warriors,  met  us  with  awful  bursts  of  martial  music,  discordant 
only  in  its  mixture  ;  for  horns,  drums,  rattles,  and  gong-gongs  were 
all  exerted  with  a  zeal  bordering  on  phrenzy,  to  subdue  us  by  the 
first  impression.  The  smoke  which  encircled  us  from  the  incessant 
discharges  of  musquetry,  confined  our  glimpses  to  the  foreground  ; 
and  we  were  halted  whilst  the  captains  performed  their  Pyrrhic 
dance,  in  the  centre  of  a  circle  formed  by  their  warriors  ;  where  a 
confusion  of  flags,  English,  Dutch,  and  Danish,  were  waved  and 
flourished  in  all  directions ;  the  bearers  plunging  and  springing 


32  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

from  side  to  side,  with  a  passion  of  enthusiasm  only  equalled  by 
the  captains,  who  followed  them,  discharging  their  shining  blun- 
derbusses so  close,  that  the  flags  now  and  then  were  in  a  blaze ; 
and  emerging  from  the  smoke  with  all  the  gesture  and  distortion 
of  maniacs.  Their  followers  kept  up  the  firing  around  us  in  the 
rear.  The  dress  of  the  captains  (see  drawing,  No.  I.)  was  a  war 
cap,  with  gilded  rams  horns  projecting  in  front,  the  sides  extended 
beyond  all  proportion  by  immense  plumes  of  eagles  feathers,  and 
fastened  under  the  chin  with  bands  of  cowries.  Their  vest  was  of 
red  cloth,  covered  with  fetishes  and  saphies*  in  gold  and  silver; 
and  embroidered  cases  of  almost  every  colour,  which  flapped 
against  their  bodies  as  they  moved,  intermixed  with  small  brass 
bells,  the  horns  and  tails  of  animals,  shells,  and  knives  ;  long  leo- 
pards tails  hung  down  their  backs,  over  a  small  bow  covered  with 
fetishes.  They  wore  loose  cotton  trowsers,  Avith  immense  boots  of 
a  dull  red  leather,  coming  half  way  up  the  thigh,  and  fastened  by 
small  chains  to  their  cartouch  or  waist  belt ;  these  were  also  orna- 
mented with  bells,  horses  tails,  strings  of  amulets,  and  innumerable 
shreds  of  leather ;  a  small  quiver  of  poisoned  arrows  hung  from 
their  right  wrist,  and  they  held  a  long  iron  chain  between  their 
teeth,  with  a  scrap  of  Moorish  writing  aflixed  to  the  end  of  it.  A 
small  spear  was  in  their  left  hands,  covered  with  red  cloth  and  silk 
tassels ;  their  black  countenances  heightened  the  eftect  of  this 
attire,  and  completed  a  figure  scarcely  human. 

This  exhibition  continued  about  half  an  hour,  when  we  were 
allowed  to  proceed,  encircled  by  the  warriors,  whose  numbers, 
with  the  crowds  of  people,  made  our  movement  as  gradual  as  if  it 
had  taken  place  in  Cheapside  ;  the  several  streets  branching  off  to 
the  right,  presented  Img  vistas  crammed  with  people,  and  those  on 
the  left  hand  being  on  an  acclivity,  innumerable  rows  of  heads 
*  Scraps  of  Moorish  writing,  as  charms  agsunst  evil. 


fy  T,S.£o  wdick  Esq 


N'l. 


CAFTAIW    imi  Mis  WAR  BRESS  , 


PuHished  I>ec,2.jL'!S,fy  /shn  Jfurraj.AU'ematie  Strsti. 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  33 

rose  one  above  another  :  the  large  open  porches  of  the  houses,  like 
the  fronts  of  stages  in  small  theatres,  were  filled  with  the  better  sort 
of  females  and  children,  all  impatient  to  behold  white  men  for  the 
first  time ;  their  exclamations  were  drowned  in  the  firing  and  music, 
but  their  gestures  were  in  character  with  the  scene.  When  we 
reached  the  palace,  about  half  a  mile  from  the  place  where  we 
entered,  we  were  again  halted,  and  an  open  file  was  made,  through 
which  the  bearers  were  passed,  to  deposit  the  presents  and  baggage 
in  the  house  assigned  to  us.  Here  we  were  gratified  by  observing 
several  of  the  caboceers  pass  by  with  their  trains,  the  novel  splen- 
dour of  which  astonished  us.  The  bands,  principally  composed 
of  horns  and  flutes,  trained  to  play  in  concert,  seemed  to  soothe 
our  hearing  into  its  natural  tone  again  by  their  wild  melodies; 
whilst  the  immense  umbrellas,  made  to  sink  and  rise  from  the 
jerkings  of  the  bearers,  and  the  large  fans  waving  around,  refreshed 
us  with  small  currents  of  air,  under  a  burning  sun,  clouds  of  dust, 
and  a  density  of  atmosphere  almost  suffocating.  We  were  then 
squeezed,  at  the  same  funeral  pace,  up  a  long  street,  to  an  open- 
fronted  house,  where  we  were  desired  by  a  royal  messenger  to  wait 
a  further  invitation  from  the  king.  Here  our  attention  was  forced 
from  the  astonishment  of  the  crowd  to  a  most  inhuman  spectacle, 
which  was  paraded  before  us  for  some  minutes  ;  it  was  a  man 
whom  they  Avere  tormenting  previous  to  sacrifice  ;  his  hands  were 
pinioned  behind  him,  a  knife  was  passed  through  his  cheeks,  to 
which  his  lips  were  noosed  like  the  figure  of  8  ;  one  ear  was  cut  oflf 
and  carried  before  him,  the  other  hung  to  his  head  by  a  small  bit 
of  skin ;  there  were  several  gashes  in  his  back,  and  a  knife  was 
thrust  under  each  shoulder  blade  ;  he  was  led  with  a  cord  passed 
through  his  nose,  by  men  disfigured  with  immense  caps  of  shaggy 
black  skins,  and  drums  beat  before  him ;  the  feeling  this  horrid 
barbarity  excited  must  be  imagined.    We  were  soon  released  by 


34  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

permission  to  proceed  to  the  king,  and  passed  through  a  very 
broad  street,  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile  long,  to  the  market  place. 

Our  observations  en  passant  had  taught  us  to  conceive  a  spec- 
tacle far  exceeding  our  original  expectations ;  but  they  had  not 
prepared  us  for  the  extent  and  display  of  the  scene  which  here 
burst  upon  us  :  an  area  of  nearly  a  mile  in  circumference  was 
crowded  with  magnificence  and  novelty.  The  king,  his  tributaries, 
and  captains,  were  resplendent  in  the  distance,  surrounded  by 
attendants  of  every  description,  fronted  by  a  mass  of  warriors 
which  seemed  to  make  our  approach  impervious.  The  sun  was 
reflected,  with  a  glare  scarcely  more  supportable  than  the  heat, 
from  the  massy  gold  ornaments,  which  glistened  in  every  direction. 
More  than  a  hundred  bands  burst  at  once  on  our  arrival,  with  the 
peculiar  airs  of  their  several  chiefs  ;  the  horns  flourished  their 
defiances,  with  the  beating  of  innumerable  drums  and  metal  instru- 
ments, and  then  yielded  for  a  while  to  the  soft  breathings  of  their 
long  flutes,  which  were  truly  harmonious ;  and  a  pleasing  instru- 
ment, like  a  bagpipe  without  the  drone,  was  happily  blended.  At 
least  a  hundred  large  umbrellas,  or  canopies,  which  could  shelter 
thirty  persons,  were  sprung  up  and  down  b}^  the  bearers  with 
brilliant  effect,  being  made  of  scarlet,  yellow,  and  the  most  shewy 
cloths  and  silks,  and  crowned  on  the  top  with  crescents,  pelicans, 
elephants,  barrels,  and  arms  and  swords  of  gold ;  they  were  of 
various  shapes,  but  mostly  dome ;  and  the  valances  (in  some  of 
which  small  looking  glasses  were  inserted)  fantastically  scalloped 
and  fringed  ;  from  the  fronts  of  some,  the  proboscis  and  small 
teeth  of  elephants  projected,  and  a  few  Avere  roofed  with  leopard 
skins,  and  crowned  with  various  animals  naturally  stuffed.  The 
state  hammocks,  like  long  cradles,  were  raised  in  the  rear,  the  poles 
on  the  heads  of  the  bearers ;  the  cushions  and  pillows  were  covered 
with  crimson  taffeta,  and  the  richest  cloths  hung  over  the  sides. 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  35 

Innumerable  small  umbrellas,  of  various  coloured  stripes,  were 
crowded  in  the  intervals,  whilst  several  large  trees  heightened  the 
glare,  by  contrasting  the  sober  colouring  of  nature. 

"  Discolor  unde  auri  per  ramos  aura  refulsit." 

The  king's  messengers,  with  gold  breast  plates,  made  way  for 
us,  and  we  commenced  our  round,  preceded  by  the  canes  and  the 
English  flag.  We  stopped  to  take  the  hand  of  every  caboceer, 
which,  as  their  houshold  suites  occupied  several  spaces  in  advance, 
delayed  us  long  enough  to  distinguish  some  of  the  ornaments  in 
the  general  blaze  of  splendour  and  ostentation. 

The  caboceers,  as  did  their  superior  captains  and  attendants, 
wore  Ashantee  cloths,  of  extravagant  price  from  the  costly  foreign 
silks  which  had  been  unravelled  to  weave  them  in  all  the  varieties 
of  colour,  as  well  as  pattern ;  they  were  of  an  incredible  size  and 
weight,  and  thrown  over  the  shoulder  exactly  like  the  Roman  toga; 
a  small  silk  fillet  generally  encircled  their  temples,  and  massy  gold 
necklaces,  intricately  wrought ;  suspended  Moorish  charms,  dearly 
purchased,  and  enclosed  in  small  square  cases  of  gold,  silver,  and 
curious  embroidery.  Some  wore  necklaces  reaching  to  the  navel 
entirely  of  aggry  beads ;  a  band  of  gold  and  beads  encircled  the 
knee,  from  which  several  strings  of  the  same  depended  ;  small 
circles  of  gold  like  guineas,  rings,  and  casts  of  animals,  were  strung 
round  their  ancles ;  their  sandals  were  of  green,  red,  and  delicate 
white  leather ;  manillas,  and  rude  lumps  of  rock  gold,  hung  from 
their  left  wrists,  which  Avere  so  heavily  laden  as  to  be  supported  on 
the  head  of  one  of  their  handsomest  boys.  Gold  and  silver  pipes, 
and  canes  dazzled  the  eye  in  every  direction.  Wolves  and  rams 
heads  as  large  as  life,  cast  in  gold,  were  suspended  from  their  gold 
handled  swords,  which  were  held  around  them  in  great  numbers ; 
the  blades  were  shaped  like  round  bills,  and  rusted  in  blood  ;  the 
sheaths  were  of  leopard  skin,  or  the  shell  of  a  fish  like  shagreen. 


86  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

The  large  drums  supported  on  the  head  of  one  man,  and  beaten 
by  two  others,  were  braced  around  with  the  thigh  bones  of  their 
enemies,  and  ornamented  with  their  skulls.  The  kettle  drums 
resting  on  the  ground,  were  scraped  with  wet  fingers,  and  covered 
with  leopard  skin.  The  wrists  of  the  drummers  were  hung  with 
bells  and  curiously  shaped  pieces  of  iron,  which  gingled  loudly  as 
they  were  beating.  The  smaller  drums  were  suspended  from  the  neck 
by  scarves  of  red  cloth ;  the  horns  (the  teeth  of  young  elephants) 
were  ornamented  at  the  mouth-piece  with  gold,  and  the  jaw  bones 
of  human  victims.  The  war  caps  of  eagles  feathers  nodded  in  the 
rear,  and  large  fans,  of  the  wing  feathers  of  the  ostrich,  played 
around  the  dignitaries;  immediately  behind  their  chairs  (which 
were  of  a  black  wood,  almost  covered  by  inlays  of  ivory  and  gold 
embossment)  stood  their  handsomest  youths,  with  corslets  of  leo- 
pard's skin  covered  with  gold  cockleshells,  and  stuck  full  of  small 
knives,  sheathed  in  gold  and  silver,  and  the  handles  of  blue  agate ; 
cartouch  boxes  of  elephant's  hide  hung  below,  ornamented  in  the 
same  manner  ;  a  large  gold  handled  sword  was  fixed  behind  the 
left  shoulder,  and  silk  scarves  and  horses  tails  (generally  white) 
streamed  from  the  arms  and  waist  cloth  :  their  long  Danish  mukets 
had  broad  rims  of  gold  at  small  distances,  and  the  stocks  were 
ornamented  with  shells.  Finely  grown  girls  stood  behind  the  chairs 
of  some,  with  silver  basins.  Their  stools  (of  the  most  laborious 
carved  work,  and  generally  with  two  large  bells  attached  to  them) 
Avere  conspicuously  placed  on  the  heads  of  favourites ;  and  crowds 
of  small  boys  were  seated  around,  flourishing  elephants  tails 
curiously  mounted.  The  warriors  sat  on  the  ground  close  to  these, 
and  so  thickly  as  not  to  admit  of  our  passing  without  treading  on 
their  feet,  to  Avhich  they  were-  perfectly  indifferent;  their  caps 
were  of  the  skin  of  the  pangolin  and  leopard,  the  tails  hanging 
down  behind ;  their  cartouch   belts  (composed  of  small  gourds 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  37 

which  hold  the  charges,  and  covered  with  leopard  or  pig's  skin) 
were  embossed  with  red  shells,  and  small  brass  bells  thickly  hung 
to  them ;  on  their  hips  and  shoulders  was  a  cluster  of  knives  ;  iron 
chains  and  collars  dignified  the  most  daring,  who  were  prouder  of 
them  than  of  gold ;  their  muskets  had  rests  affixed  of  leopard's 
skin,  and  the  locks  a  covering  of  the  same  ;  the  sides  of  their  faces 
were  curiously  painted  in  long  white  streaks,  and  their  arms  also 
striped,  having  the  appearance  of  armour. 

We  were  suddenly  surprised  by  the  sight  of  Moors,  who  aflforded 
the  first  general  diversity  of  dress ;  there  were  seventeen  superiors, 
arrayed  in  large  cloaks  of  white  satin,  richly  trimmed  with 
spangled  embroidery,  their  shirts  and  trowsers  were  of  silk,  and  a 
very  large  turban  of  white  muslin  was  studded  with  a  border  of 
different  coloured  stones :  their  attendants  wore  red  caps  and 
turbans,  and  long  white  shirts,  which  hung  over  their  trowsers ; 
those  of  the  inferiors  were  of  dark  blue  cloth :  they  slowly  raised 
their  eyes  from  the  ground  as  we  passed,  and  with  a  most  malignant 
scowl. 

The  prolonged  flourishes  of  the  horns,  a  deafening  tumult  of 
drums,  and  the  fuller  concert  of  the  intervals,  announced  that  we 
were  approaching  the  king :  we  were  already  passing  the  principal 
officers  of  his  houshold ;  the  chamberlain,  the  gold  horn  blower, 
the  captain  of  the  messengers,  the  captain  for  royal  executions, 
the  captain  of  the  market,  the  keeper  of  the  royal  burial  ground, 
and  the  master  of  the  bands,  sat  surrounded  by  a  retinue  and 
splendor  which  bespoke  the  dignity  and  "importance  of  their 
offices.  The  cook  had  a  number  of  small  services  covered  with 
leopard's  skin  held  behind  him,  and  a  large  quantity  of  massy 
silver  plate  was  displayed  before  him,  punch  bowls,  waiters,  coffee 
pots,  tankards,  and  a  very  large  vessel  Avith  heavy  handles  and 
clawed  feet,  which  seemed  to  have  been  made  to  hold  incense ;  I 


38  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

observed  a  Portuguese  inscription  on  one  piece,  and  they  seemed 
generally  of  that  manufacture.  The  executioner,  a  man  of  an 
immense  size,  wore  a  massy  gold  hatchet  on  his  breast ;  and  the 
execution  stool  was  held  before  him,  clotted  in  blood,  and  partly 
covered  with  a  cawl  of  fat.  The  king's  four  linguists  were  encir- 
cled by  a  splendor  inferior  to  none,  and  their  peculiar  insignia, 
gold  canes,  were  elevated  in  all  directions,  tied  in  bundles  like 
fasces.  The  keeper  of  the  treasury,  added  to  his  own  magnificence 
by  the  ostentatious  display  of  his  service ;  the  blow  pan,  boxes, 
scales  and  weights,  were  of  solid  gold. 

A  delay  of  some  minutes  whilst  we  severally  approached  to 
receive  the  king's  hand,  afforded  us  a  thorough  view  of  him;  his 
deportment  first  excited  my  attention  ;  native  dignity  in  princes  we 
are  pleased  to  call  barbarous  was  a  curious  spectacle  :  his  man- 
ners were  majestic,  yet  courteous ;  and  he  did  not  allow  his  sur- 
prise to  beguile  him  for  a  moment  of  the  composure  of  the 
monarch ;  he  appeared  to  be  about  thirty-eight  years  of  age, 
inclined  to  corpulence,  and  of  a  benevolent  countenance  ;  he  wore 
a  fillet  of  aggry  beads  round  his  temples,  a  necklace  of  gold  cock- 
spur  shells  strung  by  their  largest  ends,  and  over  his  right 
shoulder  a  red  silk  cord,  suspending  three  saphies  cased  in  gold  ; 
his  bracelets  were  the  richest  mixtures  of  beads  and  gold,  and  his 
fingers  covered  with  rings  ;  his  cloth  was  of  a  dark  green  silk  ;  a 
pointed  diadem  was  elegantly  painted  in  white  on  his  forehead ; 
also  a  pattern  resembling  an  epaulette  on  each  shoulder,  and  an 
ornament  like  a  full  blown  rose,  one  leaf  rising  above  another  until 
it  covered  his  whole  breast ;  his  knee-bands  were  of  aggr}-^  beads, 
and  his  ancle  strings  of  gold  ornaments  of  the  most  delicate  M'ork- 
manship,  small  drums,  sankos,  stools,  swords,  guns,  and  birds, 
clustered  together ;  his  sandals,  of  a  soft  white  leather,  were  em- 
bossed across  the  instep  band  with  small  gold  and  silver  cases  of 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  09 

saphies  ;  he  was  seated  in  a  low  chair,  richly  ornamented  with 
gold ;  he  wore  a  pair  of  gold  castanets  on  his  finger  and  thumb, 
which  he  clapped  to  enforce  silence.  The  belts  of  the  guards 
behind  his  chair,  were  cased  in  gold,  and  covered  with  small  jaw 
bones  of  the  same  metal ;  the  elephants  tails,  waving  like  a  small 
cloud  before  him,  were  spangled  with  gold,  and  large  plumes  of 
feathers  were  flourished  amid  them.  His  eunuch  presided  over 
these  attendants,  wearing  only  one  massy  piece  of  gold  about  his 
neck :  the  royal  stool,  entirely  cased  in  gold,  was  displayed  under 
a  splendid  umbrella,  with  drums,  sankos,  horns,  and  various  mu- 
sical instruments,  cased  in  gold,  about  the  thickness  of  cartridge 
paper :  large  circles  of  gold  hung  by  scarlet  cloth  from  the  swords 
of  state,  the  sheaths  as  well  as  the  handles  of  which  were  also  cased ; 
hatchets  of  the  same  were  intermixed  with  them  :  the  breasts  of 
the  Ocrahs,  and  various  attendants,  were  adorned  with  large  stars, 
stools,  crescents,  and  gossamer  wings  of  solid  gold. 

We  pursued  our  course  through  this  blazing  circle,  which  afforded 
to  the  last  a  variety  exceeding  description  and  memory ;  so  many 
splendid  novelties  diverting  the  fatigue,  heat,  and  pressure  we  were 
labouring  under;  we  were  almost  exhausted,  however,  by  the  time 
we  reached  the  end ;  Avhen,  instead  of  being  conducted  to  our 
residence,  we  were  desired  to  seat  ourselves  under  a  tree  at  some 
distance,  to  receive  the  compliments  of  the  whole  in  our  turn. 

The  swell  of  their  bands  gradually  strengthened  on  our  ears,  the 
peals  of  the  warlike  instruments  bursting  upon  the  short,  but  sweet 
responses  of  the  flutes ;  the  gaudy  canopies  seemed  to  dance  in 
the  distant  view,  and  floated  broadly  as  they  were  springing  up  and 
down  in  the  foreground  ;  flags  and  banners  waved  in  the  interval, 
and  the  chiefs  were  eminent  in  their  crimson  hammocks,  amidst 
crowds  of  musquetry.  They  dismounted  as  they  arrived  within 
thirty  yards  of  us  ;  their  principal  captains  preceded  them  with  the 


40  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

gold  handled  swords,  a  body  of  soldiers  followed  with  their  arms 
reversed,  then  their  bands  and  gold  canes,  pipes,  and  elephants 
tails.  The  chief,  with  a  small  body  guard  under  his  umbrella,  was 
generally  supported  around  the  waist  by  the  hands  of  his  favourite 
slave,  whilst  captains  hoUa'd,  close  in  his  ear,  his  warlike  deeds 
and  (strong)  names,  which  were  reiterated  with  the  voices  of 
Stentors  by  those  before  and  behind  ;  the  larger  party  of  warriors 
brought  up  the  rear.  Old  captains  of  secondary  rank  were  carried 
on  the  shoulders  of  a  strong  slave  ;  but  a  more  interesting  sight 
was  presented  in  the  minors,  or  young  caboceeers,  many  not  more 
than  five  or  six  years  of  age,  who  overweighed  by  ornaments,  were 
carried  in  the  same  manner,  (under  their  canopies),  encircled  by 
all  the  pomp  and  parade  of  their  predecessors.  Amongst  others, 
the  grandson  of  Cheboo  was  pointed  out,  whom  the  king  had 
generously  placed  on  the  stool  of  his  perfidious  enemy.  A  band 
of  Fetish  men,  or  priests,  wheeled  round  and  round  as  they  passed 
with  surprising  velocity.  Manner  was  as  various  as  ornament; 
some  danced  by  with  irresistible  buffoonery,  some  with  a  gesture 
and  carriage  of  defiance  ;  one  distinguished  caboceer  performed 
the  war  dance  before  us  for  some  minutes,  with  a  large  spear, 
which  grazed  us  at  every  bound  he  made  ;  but  the  greater  number 
passed  us  with  order  and  dignity,  some  slipping  one  sandal,  some 
both,  some  turning  round  after  having  taken  each  of  us  by  the 
hand ;  the  attendants  of  others  knelt  before  them,  throwing  dust 
upon  their  heads ;  and  the  Moors,  apparently,  vouchsafed  us  a 
blessing.  The  king's  messengers  who  were  posted  near  us,  with 
their  long  hair  hanging  in  twists  like  a  thrum  mop,  used  little  cere- 
mony in  hurrying  by  this  transient  procession  ;  yet  it  was  nearly 
8  o'clock  before  the  king  approached. 

It  was  a  beautiful  star  light  night,  and  the  torches  which  pre- 
ceded him  displayed  the  splendor  of  his  regalia  with  a  chastened 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  41 

lustre,  and  made  the  human  trophies  of  the  soldiers  more  awfully 
imposing.  The  skulls  of  three  Banda  caboceers,  who  had  been 
his  most  obstinate  enemies,  adorned  the  largest  drum :  the  vessels 
in  which  the  boys  dipped  their  torches  were  of  gold.  He  stopped 
to  enquire  our  names  a  second  time,  and  to  wish  us  good  night ; 
his  address  was  mild  and  deliberate  :  he  was  followed  by  his  aunts, 
sisters,  and  others  of  his  family,  with  rows  of  fine  gold  chains 
around  their  necks.  Numerous  chiefs  succeeded ;  and  it  was  long 
before  we  were  at  liberty  to  retire.  We  agreed  in  estimating  the 
number  of  warriors  at  30,000. 

We  were  conducted  to  a  range  of  spacious,  but  ruinous  build- 
ings, which  had  belonged  to  the  son  of  one  of  the  former  kings, 
and  who  had  recently  destroyed  himself  at  a  very  advanced  age, 
unable  to  endure  the  severity  of  disgrace  :  their  forlorn  and  dreary 
aspect  bespoke  the  fortune  of  their  master,  and  they  required 
much  repair  to  defend  us  from  the  wind  and  rain,  which  frequently 
ushered  in  the  nights. 


42  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 


CHAPTER    III. 


Proceedings  and  Incidents  until  the  Third  Dispatch  to  Cape  Coast 

Castle. 

Coomassie,  May  22nd,  1817- 

To  THE  Governor  and  Council,  Cape  Coast  Castle. 

Gentlemen, 

1  H  E  important  objects  of  the  Mission,  and  the  safety  and  pros- 
perity of  the  Settlements,  have  this  day  demanded  our  pubHc 
dissent  from  our  superior  officer,  Mr.  James ;  to  prove  the  act 
tutelary  to  these  objects,  can  be  our  only  justification. 

The  Mission  has  engrossed  our  thoughts  and  exertions  from  the 
moment  we  were  honoured  by  the  appointments ;  we  have  felt  that 
the  credit  of  the  Committee,  the  character  of  the  service,  and  the 
good  of  our  country  Avere  associated  in  the  enterprise ;  and  that 
we  were  personally  responsible  for  these  important  objects,  to  the 
extent  of  our  industry,  fortitude,  and  ability.  Our  reflections 
^naturally  associated  obstacles  commensurate  with  the  importance 
of  the  objects  affected  ;  and  to  overcome  the  former  in  a  manner 
auspicious  to  the  latter,  we  conceived  to  be  the  duty  expected 
from  us,  as  composing  a  Mission  originated  to  remove  a  portion  of 
the  formidable  barriers  to  the  interior  of  Africa.  Wc  anticipated 
prejudice,  intrigue,  and  difficulty,  as  inevitable ;  as  obstacles  to 
invigorate  and  not  to  sicken  our  exertions. 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  43 

At  Dadasey,  on  Wednesday  the  14th  instant,  we  received  a 
present  from  the  King,  of  two  ounces  of  gold,  a  sheep,  and  thirty 
yams,  with  a  second  appointment  to  enter  his  capital  the  succeed- 
ing Monday.     When  within  a  short  distance,  the  messenger  who 
announced  us,  returned,  to  desire  us  to  wait  at  a  croom  until  the 
King  had  washed.     We  were  permitted  to  enter  soon  after  two 
o'clock,  and  the  King  received  us  with  the  niost  encouraging 
courtesy,  and  the  most  flattering  distinction.  We  paid  our  respects 
in  turn,  (passing  along  a  surprising  extent  of  line)  to  the  principal 
caboceers,  many  of  remote,  and  several  of  Moorish  territories ; 
and  all  of  these  encircled  by  retinues  astonishing  to  us  from  their 
numbers,  order,  and  decorations.     We  were  then  requested  to 
remove  to  a  distant  tree  to  receive  their  salutes ;  which  procession, 
though  simply  transient,  continued  until   past  eight  o'clock.    It 
was  indescribably   imposing  from  the  variety,  magnificence,  and 
etiquette  :  its  faint  oudine  in  Mr.  Bowdich's  report,  will  impart  our 
impression  of  the  power  and  influence  of  the  monarch  we  are  sent 
to  conciliate.     The  King  as  he  passed,  repeated  his  former  con- 
descensions. 

The  next  morning  (Tuesday)  the  King  sent  to  us  to  come  and 
speak  our  palaver  in  the  market  place,  that  all  the  people  might 
hear  it :  we  found  him  encircled  by  the  most  splendid  insignia,  and 
surrounded  by  his  caboceers  :  we  were  received  graciously.     Mr, 
James,  through  his  linguist,  declared  to  the  King's,  (who  are  alone 
allowed  to  speak  to  him  in  pubhc)  that  the  objects  of  the  Mission 
were  friendship  and  commerce  ;  impressed  the  consequence  of  our 
nation,  and   the  good  feelings  of  the  Committee  and  Governor 
towards  the  King,  as  would  be  testified  by  our  presents ;  he  sub- 
mitted the  wish  of  a  Residency,  and  of  a  direct  path.     The  King 
enquired  if  we  were  to  settle  the  Commenda  palaver ;  the  reply 
was,  no  !  He  rejoined,"  that  he  wished  the  Governor  of  Cape  Coast 


44  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

to  settle  all  palavers  for  him  with  the  people  of  the  forts,  and  that 
he  had  thought  we  came  to  make  all  things  right,  and  so  to  make 
friends  with  the  Ashantees."  The  King  had  previously  observed, 
as  literally  rendered,  that  "  the  forts  belonged  to  him,"  meaning 
(as  the  context,  and  the  whole  of  his  sentiments  and  conduct  have 
confirmed)  nothing  humiliating  to  our  dignity  and  independence ; 
but  simply,  that  the  advantages  derived  by  the  Fantee  nations 
from  the  forts,  should  now  be  his.  He  desired  the  officer  to  be 
pointed  out  to  him  who  was  to  be  the  Resident ;  and  then  enquired 
if  that  was  all  our  palaver,  he  was  told  yes  :  he  said  he  would  give 
us  his  answer  the  next  day. 

Soon  after  we  returned  to  our  house,  the  King's  linguist  delivered 
this  message.  "  The  King  knows  very  well  the  King  of  England 
has  sent  him  presents  ;  if  you  wish  to  be  friends  with  him  you 
must  bring  these  presents  to  his  own  house,  and  shew  them  to  him 
and  his  friends,  and  not  give  them  before  all  the  people."  This,  in 
our  judgment  was  a  policy,  to  prevent  any  favourable  bias  of  the 
body  of  caboceers  and  people  anticipating  the  King's  and  his 
councils  satisfaction  of  our  motives  and  professions. 

We  attended :  all  the  curiosity  the  packages  excited  could  not 
incline  the  King  to  regard  them,  until  he  had  desired  distinctly  to 
vmderstand  who  had  sent  them,  the  King  of  England,  or  the 
Governor.  He  was  told,  the  Company  to  whom  the  forts  belonged 
under  the  King ;  the  interpreter  seemed  to  render  it  the  King  indi- 
vidually ;  it  was  more  intelligible,  and  the  agreeable  impression  it 
made  was  striking.  The  presents  were  displayed.  Nothing  could 
surpass  the  King's  surprise  and  pleasure,  but  his  warm  yet  dignified 
avowal  of  his  obhgations.  "  Enghshmen,''  said  he,  admiring  the 
workmanship  of  the  different  articles,  "  know  how  to  do  every 
thing  proper,"  turning  to  his  favourites  with  a  smile  as  auspicious 
to  our  interests,  as  mortal  to  the  intrigues  of  our  rival.     Much  of 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  45 

the  glass  was  broken  ;  Mr.  James  expressed  his  regret,  and  offered 
to  procure  more  ;  the  King  replied,  "  the  path  we  had  come  was 
bad  and  overgrown,  that  we  had  many  people  to  look  after;"  and 
waved  our  excuses  with  superior  courtesy,  fie  desired  the  linguists 
to  say,  "  this  shewed  him  that  the  English  were  a  great  people, 
that  they  wished  to  be  friends  with  him,  to  be  as  one  with  the 
Ashantees  ;  that  this  made  him  much  pleasure  to  see,  (and  to 
repeat  again  and  again,)  "  that  he  thanked  the  King  of  England, 
the  Governor  at  Cape  Coast,  and  tlie  officers  who  brought  the. 
presents  much,  very  much."  He  made  very  liberal  presents  of 
liquor  to  our  people,  and  delivered  the  distinct  presents  to  his  four 
principal  caboceers  in  our  sight. 

We  learned  from  Quashie,  the  Accra  Unguist,  the  favourable 
reports  he  had  collected  through  his  intimacy  with  some  of  the 
principal  men.  All  the  caboceers,  he  said,  had  thought  we  had 
come  for  bad,  to  spy  the  country  ;  the  King  thought  so  too  a  little, 
but  much  fetish  was  made,  and  all  shewed  that  we  meant  well,  and 
now  the  King  thought  so  ;  the  mulatto  sent  by  General  Daendels,. 
directly  after  Mr.  Hydecoper,  and  who  arrived  just  before  us,  had 
sent  to  the  King  for  a  pass  to  go  back,  and  the  King  told  him,  that 
he  would  give  him  this  message,  "  that  the  King  had  thought  to  do 
good  to  the  Dutch,  but  now  he  sees  their  white  mens  faces,  he 
should  do  good  to  the  English."  This  mulatto  man  (who  is  not  in 
the  service,  but  a  free  man  of  Elmina  town)  visited  us  afterwards, 
and  his  complaints  and  sentiments  confirmed  these  reports  in  our 
favour. 

On  "Wednesday  morning  the  King's  sisters  (one  the  caboceer  of 
the  largest  Ashantee  town  near  the  frontier)  paid  us  a  visit  of 
ceremony,  and  retired  to  receive  our's  in  return ;  their  manners 
were  courteous  and  dignified,  and  they  were  handed  with  a  sur- 
prising politeness  by  the  captains  in  attendance. 


46  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Mr.  James  being  indisposed,  we  went  by  invitation  to  see  the 
chief  captain's  horse,  Avhen  the  King  sent  to  us  to  say,  he  was 
walking  that  way,  and  requested  us  to  get  our  chairs  and  wail,  that 
he  might  bid  us  good  morning.  Directly  he  saw  us  he  ordered  the 
procession  to  alter  its  course,  and  stopped  to  take  us  by  the  hand. 
The  procession  consisted  of  about  2000  men,  and  was  marked  by 
all  the  suit  and  parade  of  royalty.  The  caboceers  that  day  in 
attendance  appeared  as  warriors,  being  divested  of  the  rich  silks 
of  the  preceding  day  ;  the  executioner,  the  master  of  the  bands, 
and  the  cook,  were  in  the  train,  with  suits  which  shewed  the 
importance  of  their  offices ;  the  latter  was  preceded  by  a  massy 
service  of  plate.     Mr.  Bowdich's  report  will  be  more  particular. 

The  king  sent  his  messenger  this  morning  to  repeat,  that  he 
thanked  the  King  of  England  and  the  Governor  very  much  for 
yesterday. 

The  King  was  much  pleased  when  Quashie,  the  Accra  linguist 
(who  is  our  only  intelligible  medium,)  attempted  to  describe  the 
use  of  the  sextant ;  consequently,  when  Mr.  Bowdich  saw  the 
King's  chief  captain  this  morning,  he  offered  to  shew  it  to  the  King, 
with  the  camera  obscura  and  telescope  ;  the  captain  said  it  would 
please  the  King,  and  reported,  that  the  King  was  much  pleased 
with  us,  that  he  liked  to  be  friends  with  the  English,  that  he  wished 
to  make  pleasure  with  us,  and  would  send  for  us  by  and  by  to  do 
so.  We  have  been  particular  in  these  lesser  circumstances,  as 
they  are  the  evidence  of  the  King's  good  feelings,  and  of  the  fair 
prospect  of  the  consummation  of  the  Mission,  superior  to  all  the 
prejudice  and  intrigue  opposed  to  it. 

We  were  sent  for  to  the  King's  house ;  he  was  only  attended  by 
his  privy  counsellors ;  he  expressed  much  delight  at  the  camera 
obscura  and  instruments.  He  said,  "  the  Englishmen  knew  more 
than  Dutchmen  or  Danes — that  black  men  knew  nothing."    He 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  47 

then  ordered  our  people  to  be  dismissed ,  said  he  would  look  at  the 
telescope  in  a  larger  place,  that  now  he  wished  to  talk  with  us. 
He  again  acknowledged  the  gratification  of  Tuesday,  and  desired 
Mr.  James  to  explain  to  him  two  notes  which  he  produced,  written 
by  the  Governor  in  Chief  at  the  request  of  Amooney ,  King  of  Anna- 
maboe,  and  Adokoo,  Chief  of  the  BrafFoes,  making  over  to  Sai*, 
King  of  Ashantee,  four  ackies  per  month  of  their  company's  pay, 
as  a  pledge  of  their  allegiance  and  the  termination  of  hostilities. 
The  impression  seemed  instantly  to  have  rooted  itself  in  the  King's 
mind,  that  this  was  the  Governor's  individual  act,  or  that  he  had 
instanced  it;  his  countenance  changed,  his  counsellors  became 
enraged,  they  were  all  impatience,  Ave  all  anxiety.  "  Tell  the 
white  men,"  said  the  King,  "  what  they  did  yesterday  made  me 
much  pleasure;  I  Avas  glad  Ave  Avere  to  be  friends;  but  to  day  I  see 
they  come  to  put  shame  upon  my  face ;  this  breaks  my  heart  too 
much.  The  English  know,  with  my  own  powder,  with  my  own 
shot,  I  drove  the  Fantees  under  their  forts,  I  spread  my  sAVord 
OA'^erthem,  they  were  all  killed,  and  their  books  from  the  fort  are 
mine.  I  can  do  as  much  for  the  English  as  the  Fantees,  they  knoAV 
this  well,  they  know  I  have  only  to  send  a  captain  to  get  all  the 
heads  of  the  Fantees.  These  Avhite  men  cheat  me,  they  think  to 
make  'Shantee  fool ;  they  pretend  to  make  friends  with  me,  and 
they  join  Avith  the  Fantees  to  cheat  me,  to  put  shame  upon  my 
face ;  this  makes  the  blood  come  from  my  heart."  This  was  reported 
by  his  Hnguist  with  a  passion  of  gesture  and  utterance  scarcely 
inferior  to  the  King's ;  the  irritation  spread  throughout  the  circle, 
and  swelled  even  to  uproar. 

Thus  much  was  inevitable ;  it  was  one  of  our  anticipated  diffi- 
culties ;  it  was  not  a  defeat,  but  a  check ;  and  here  originates  our 
charge  against  Mr.  James,  whom  Ave  declare  to  have  been  deficient 
in  presence  of  mind,  and  not  to  have  exerted  those  assurances  and 


48  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

arguments  which,  with  a  considerate  zeal,  might  at  least  have 
tended  to  ameliorate  the  unjust  impression  of  the  King,  if  not  to 
have  eradicated  it.  Mr.  James  said,  "  the  Governor  of  Cape  Coast 
had  done  it,  that  he  knew  nothing  about  it,  that  he  was  sent  only 
to  make  the  compliments  to  the  King,  that  if  the  King  liked  to  send 
•  a  messenger  with  him,  he  was  going  back  and  would  tell  the  Governor 
all  that  the  King  said."  This  was  all  that  was  advanced.  Was  this 
enough  for  such  a  Mission  to  effect?  the  King  repeated,  "  that  he 
had  expected  we  had  come  to  settle  all  palavers,  and  to  stay  and 
make  friends  with  him;  but  we  came  to  make  a  fool  of  him."  The 
King  asked  him  to  tell  him  how  much  had  been  paid  on  these  notes 
since  his  demand — that  he  knew  white  men  had  large  books  which 
told  this.  Mr.  James  said  he  had  seen,  but  he  could  not  recollect. 
Nothing  could  exceed  the  King's  indignation.  "  White  men,"  he 
exclaimed,  "  know  how  many  months  pass,  how  many  years  they 
live,  and  they  know  this,  but  they  wont  tell  me ;  could  not  the 
other  white  men  tell  me."  Mr.  James  said,  "  we  never  looked  in 
the  books." 

We  were  not  so  indiscreet  as  to  expect  or  wish  Mr.  James  to 
<;omniit  himself  by  promising  the  satisfaction  of  the  King's  Avishes ; 
but  dwelling  on  the  expense  and  importance  of  the  Mission,  on 
the  expectations  it  had  excited,  and  feeling  the  reason  of  the  King's 
argument,  that  its  object  should  be  to  settle  all  palavers  if  we 
wished  to  be  good  friends,  we  conceived  we  but  anticipated  the 
feeling  of  the  Council  and  of  the  Committee,  in  our  anxiety  for  Mr. 
James  to  offer  to  communicate  with  the  Governor  by  letter,  and  to 
wait  his  reply,  with  a  confidence  that  his  good  feeling  towards  the 
King,  his  instructions  from  England,  and  his  own  disposition,  Avould 
Jead  him  to  do  every  thing  that  was  right  to  please  him. 

Mr.  James's  embarrassment  had  not  only  hurried  him  to  extri- 
cate himself  as  an  individual  at  the  expense  of  his  own  dignity 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  49 

and  intellect,  but,  which  was  worse,  he  had  thrown  the  whole  onus 
of  this  invidious  transaction  on  the  shoulders  of  the  Governor  in 
chief,  against  whom  the  King's  prejudice  would  be  fatal  to  all,  and 
whose  interest  in  his  honour  was  most  flattering  to  the  King,  most 
auspicious  to  us,  and  the  hopes  of  the  Mission  ;  not  only  the  future 
prosperity,  but  the  present  security  of  the  Settlements  hung  upon 
this,  and  the  dagger  was  at  this  moment  suspended  from  a  cobweb. 
Mr.  Bowdich  urged  this  in  the  ear  of  Mr.  James,  urged  the  danger 
of  leaving  the  King  thus  provoked,  the  fatal  sacrifice  of  every 
object  of  the  Mission,  the  discredit  of  the  service,  the  disgrace  of 
ourselves;  Mr.  James  replied,  "  he  knew  the  Governor's  private 
sentiments  best."  The  Moors  of  authority  seized  the  moment,  and 
zealously  fanned  the  flame  which  encircled  us ;  for  the  King  looking 
in  vain  for  those  testimonies  of  British  feehng  which  presence  of 
mind  would  have  imposed,  exclaimed,  as  he  turned  his  ear  from 
the  Moors,  "  I  know  the  English  come  to  spy  the  country  ;  they 
come  to  cheat  me ;  they  want  war,  they  want  war."  Mr.  James 
said  "  No!  we  \vant  trade."'  The  King  impatiently  continued, 
"  They  join  the  Fantees  to  put  shame  upon  my  face  ;  I  will  send 
a  captain  to-morrow  to  take  these  books,  and  bring  me  the  heads 
of  all  the  Fantees  under  the  forts ;  the  white  men  know  I  can  do 
this,  I  have  only  to  speak  to  my  captains.  "  The  Dutch  Governor 
does  not  cheat  me ;  he  does  not  shame  me  before  the  Fantees ;  he 
sends  me  the  whole  4  oz,  a  month.  The  Danes  do  not  shame  me, 
and  the  English  4  ackies  a  month  is  nothing  to  me ;  I  can  send  a 
captain  for  all ;  they  wish  war."  He  drew  his  beard  into  his 
mouth,  bit  it,  and  rushing  abruptly  from  his  seat  exclaimed, 
"  Shantee  foo !  Shantee  foo  !  ah  !  ah  !"  then  shaking  his  finger  at 
us  with  the  most  angry  aspect,  would  have  burst  from  us  with  the 
exclamation,"  If  a  black  man  had  brought  me  this  message,  I  would 
have  had  his  head  cut  off  before  me."     Mr.  James  was  silent. 


A*^ 


50  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Gentlemen !  imagine  this  awful  moment,  think  what  a  fatal 
wound  menaced  the  British  interests ;  the  most  memorable  exertion 
of  the  Committee,  the  pledge  to  the  Government  of  their  energies, 
of  the  zeal  and  capabiUties  of  their  officers,  this  important  and 
expensive  Mission  falling  to  the  ground,  the  sacrifice  to  supineness ; 
the  Settlements  endangered  instead  of  benefited,  ourselves  disgraced 
as  officers  and  men,  our  key  to  the  Interior  shivered  in  the  lock, 
and  the  territories  of  a  great  and  comparatively  tractable  prince 
shut  against  us  for  ever.  Could  we  be  expected  to  look  with  in- 
difference on  these  sacrifices,  to  risk  nothing  to  avert  them  ;  to  be 
auxiliary  to  the  triumph  of  the  intrigues  and  duplicity  of  our  rival, 
which  you  know  to  have  been  exerted  even  to  our  destruction? 
Not  a  moment  was  to  be  lost;  Mr.  Bowdich  stood  before  the  King, 
and  begged  to  be  heard  ;  his  attention  was  arrested,  the  clamours 
of  the  council  gradually  abated  :  there  was  no  interpreter  but  the 
one  Mr.  James  brought  from  his  own  fort,  and  no  alternative  l^ut 
to  charge  him  promptly  in  the  Governor's  name,  before  reflection 
could  associate  the  wishes  of  his  master,  to  speak  truly.  Mr.  Bow- 
dich continued  standing  before  the  King,  and  declared,  "  that  the 
Governor  wished  to  gain  his  friendship  more  than  he  could  think;" 
that  we  were  sent,  not  only  to  compliment  him,  but  to  write  what 
he  had  to  say  to  the  Governor,  and  to  wait  to  tell  his  answer  to  the 
King,  and  to  do  all  he  ordered  ;  to  settle  all  palavers,  and  to  make 
Ashantees  and  English  as  one  before  we  went  back.  That  the 
Governor  of  Accra  was  sick,  and  in  pain,  and  naturally  wished  to 
go  back  soon,  but  that  himself,  and  the  other  two  officers  would 
stay  with  the  King,  until  they  made  him  sure  that  the  Governor 
was  a  good  friend  to  him.  That  we  would  rather  get  anger,  and 
lose  every  thing  ourselves,  than  let  the  King  think  the  Governor 
sent  us  to  put  shame  on  him  ;  that  we  would  trust  our  lives  to  the 
King,  until  we  had  received  the  Governor's  letter,  to  make  him 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  51 

think  so ;  and  to  tell  us  to  do  all  that  was  right,  lo  make  the 
Ashantees  and  English  as  one ;  and  this  Avould  shew  the  King  we 
did  not  come  to  spy  the  country,  but  to  do  good."  Mr.  Bowdich 
then  assured  Mr.  James  that  no  outrage  on  his  dignity  was  medi- 
tated ;  that  we  should  continue  to  treat  him  as  our  superior  officer, 
but  that  we  felt  the  present  act  imperative,  as  our  duty  to  the 
Service  and  our  Country. 

Conviction  flashed  across  the  countenance  of  the  interpreter, 
and  he  must  have  done  Mr.  Bowdich's  speech  justice,  for  the 
cheerful  aspect  of  the  morning  was  resumed  in  every  countenance. 
The  applause  was  general ;  the  King  (who  had  again  seated  him- 
self) held  out  his  hand  to  Mr.  Bowdich,  and  said,  "  he  spoke  well; 
what  he  spoke  was  good  ;  he  liked  his  palaver  much.''  The  King's 
chief  hnguist  came  forward  and  repeated  his  commendations  with 
the  most  profound  bows  ;  every  look  was  favourable  ;  every  where 
there  was  a  hand  extended.  The  King  then  instructed  his  linguist 
to  report  to  Mr.  Bowdich,  personally,  his  arguments  respecting  the 
books.  "  That  he  had  subdued  the  Eantees  at  the  expense  of  much 
powder  and  shot ;  and  that,  in  consequence,  all  their  notes  were 
his :  that  he  had  only  to  send  a  Captain  to  bring  all  their  heads, 
that  he  did  not  want  to  do  no  good,  and  keep  the  books  ;  he  would 
do  more  for  the  forts  than  the  Fantees  could  ;  that  the  Dutch 
Governor  did  not  cheat  him,  but  gaveothe  four  oz.  a  month.  That 
he  wished  to  be  friends  with  the  English  ;  but  that  the  4  ackies  a 
month  put  shame  upon  his  face."  To  this  Mr.  Bowdich  replied, 
that  he  could  only  say  he  knew  the  Governor  would  do  what  was 
right ;  that  he  could  not  say  more  until  he  heard  from  him  ;  but 
that  he  would  write  every  word  the  King  said;  and  he  was  sure 
the  King  would  see  that  the  Governor  would  do  what  was  right. 
We  shook  hands  and  retired. 

All  the  Fantees  being  detained  by  the  King,  Mr.  Bowdich  and 


52  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Mr.  Hutchison  went  in  the  evening  to  the  chief  captain  to  request 
a  messenger  from  the  King  to  Cape  Coast ;  about  two  hours  after- 
wards he  reported  the  King's  reply  almost  literally  as  follows:: 
"  The  King  wishes  you  good  night ;  this  is  his  palaver  and  yours, 
you  must  not  speak  it  to  any  one  else,  the  white  men  come  to 
cheat  him.  The  King  recollects  the  face  of  the  white  man  who 
spoke  to  him  to  day,  he  likes  him  much,  he  wishes  he  would  talk 
the  palaver;  the  King  likes  the  other  white  men  who  stood  up  with 
him  very  much  ;  he  thinks  the  Governor  of  Accra  wishes  to  put 
all  the  wrong  on  the  Governor  at  Cape  Coast,  and  not  to  tell  any 
thing.  The  King  thinks  that  not  right,  and  he  sees  you  do  not 
like  that.  You  must  not  speak  this  palaver  again  ;  'tis  the  King's 
palaver,  and  yours ;  the  King's  captain  will  speak  right  to  the 
King  what  you  say,  and  you  shall  have  a  messenger." 

We  again  affirm  positively,  that  Mr,  James  made  no  offer  to 
communicate  with  the  Governor,  but  spoke  only  of  his  return, 
which  we  know  he  was  meditating  at  the  expense  of  the  treaty, 
and  every  object  of  the  Mission. 

Referring  to  our  detail  previous  to  the  serious  business  of  to  day, 
3'ou  will  find  every  circumstance  to  have  been  encouraging,  and  in 
our  opinion,  auspicious  to  the  consummation  of  the  Mission.  Yet 
at  that  moment,  unclouded  as  it  was,  we  know  Mr.  James,  by  his 
own  confession,  to  have  written  to  head  quarters  with  a  gloom 
which  existed  only  in  his  own  imagination;  this  letter  did  not  go 
from  the  detention  of  the  Fantee  bearers.  We  believe  firmly,  that 
had  there  been  no  interference  on  our  part  at  the  critical  moment, 
Mr.  James  would  have  returned  forthwith  to  Cape  Coast,  without 
effecting  one  object  of  the  Mission,  and  that  the  future  good  of  the 
Settlements  would  not  only  have  been  sacrificed,  but  their  present 
security  endangered.* 

*  "  The  government  of  the  country  is  a"  military  despotism,  and  I  have  this  day  re- 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  53 

Mr.  James  may  write  that  Mr.  Bowdich  rose  with  great  warmth: 
this  we  deny,  and  affirm  that  he  displayed  no  more  than  a  tempe- 
rate zeal,  considerate  in  its  declarations,  and  respectful  even  in  its 
dissent  from  Mr.  James.  The  attention  of  the  King  was  arrested 
bv  the  novelty  of  a  white  man  addressing  him  in  the  oratorical 
manner  of  his  own  country,  but  it  was  not  until  the  linguist  had 
conveyed  the  arguments,  that  the  King  held  out  his  hand  and  the 
applause  was  general.  Mere  observations  whispered  in  the  ear  of 
the  linguists  had  lost  all  effect,  and  would  not  have  answered  the 
crisis. 

Mr.  James  has  talked,  and  perhaps  written  much  of  the  King's 
suspicion,  but  we  must  contend  that  much  of  this  is  misnamed, 
and  is  no  more  than  that  deliberate  policy  which  is  a  pledge  of  the 
durability  of  the  confidence  it  precedes.  Certainly  there  has  been 
suspicion,  but  not  more  than  must  have  been  expected,  not 
more  than  was  commensurate  with  the  important  novelty  Avhich 
challenged  it.  It  has  been  confessed  here,  that  our  political  rival 
has  exerted  all  his  address  to  vitiate  our  objects  in  the  eyes  of  the 
King,  to  convince  him  our  ostensible  views  were  pretences ;  our 
real  ones  dangerous  and  unjust ;  that  we  sought  sovereignty,  not 
commerce.  The  Moorish  chiefs  and  dignitaries  by  whom  the  King- 
is  surrounded,  whose  influence  is  powerful,  not  only  from  their 
rank  but  their  repute,  naturally  urged  these  arguments  against 
unbelievers  and  competitors  in  trade,  and  their  extensive  inter- 
course has  unfortunately  possessed  them  of  facts  to  the  point  of 
our  ambition.  Let  these  considerations  be  weighed,  let  our  account 
of  the  King's  general  deportment  be  again  referred  to ;  let  us 
impress,  that  he  has  never  once  adverted  to  our  destruction  of  his 

ceived  private  information,  that  it  is  already  settled,  that  if  the  refusal  of  the  notes 
occasions  a  war,  and  any  one  is  hurt  or  killed  by  the  forts,  our  lives  will  be  the  forfeit." 
Mr.  James's  Dispatch. 


54  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

troops  before  Annamaboe,  or  of  the  critical  situation  of  ihc  fort ; 
that  he  has  evinced  a  disposition  to  a  sound  understanding,  by 
veiling  every  irritating  retrospect,  by  acknowledging  t\rrv  con- 
ciliatory circumstance. 

We  do  not  presume  to  enter  our  opinions  into  the  important 
question  of  the  King's  demand  of  the  whole  of  these  two  notes ; 
we  have  advanced  nothing  but  our  assurance  that  the  Governor 
will  do  what  is  right,  and  we  have  pledged  our  hves  to  convince 
the  King  of  this ;  the  importance  of  the  Mission  would  have  claimed 
a  more  valuable  pledge. 

Whilst  we  impress  the  surprising  power  and  influence  of  the 
King,  we  must  do  him  the  justice  to  acknowledge  the  convincing- 
manner  in  which  he  urged  the  injuries  and  forbearance  which  pre- 
ceded the  Fantee  Avar ;  his  willingness  to  do  every  thing  for  the 
forts,  and  the  conduct  of  the  Dutch  Governor  in  giving  him  the 
whole  of  the  four  ounces,  were  impressively  and  ingeniously 
associated. 

To  wear  away  suspicion,  Mr.  Bowdich  has  ceased  his  enquiries 
and  observations  for  a  time.  The  resources  for  intelligence  of  the 
Interior  are  infinite.  Timbuctoo  has  been  visited  by  most  of  the 
sojourners,  and  a  mass  of  valuable  information  may  be  gathered 
with  caution.*  The  eclipses  of  Jupiter's  satellites  will  be  regularly 
observed  by  Mr.  Bowdich,  and  the  mean  longitude  reported  ;  the 
want  of  a  good  watch  imposes  considerable  trouble. 

We  have  reflected  on  what  we  have  done,  and  if  we  are  so 
unfortunate  as  to  be  visited  by  your  and  the  Committee's  displea- 

*  "  In  the  present  suspicious  state  of  tiic  King's  inind  respecting  us,  I  fear  it  would 
be  impolitic  to  make  the  enquiries  you  ordered  in  yo»i'  instructions.  I  think  it  will  be 
more  prudent  to  leave  them  to  time.  Mr.  H.  if  he  remains,  will  he  able,  from  time  to 
time,  to  obtain  such  information  as  they  can  give,  without  creating  that  suspicion  which 
would  certainly  arise  from  any  questions  put  at  the  present  moment.  I  have  kept  Mr. 
H's  hammock  men,  as  it  is  yet  uncertain  whether  he  will  remain."  Mr.  James''s  Dispatch. 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  55 

siire,  we  shall  console  ourselves  in  our  reluctant  change  of  pursuit, 
by  the  satisfaction  of  our  own  minds  of  the  honourable  zeal  of  our 
motives. 

We  most  respectfully  solicit  our  recall,  as  we  cannot  implicate 
our  character  and  our  responsibility  with  Mr.  James's  judgment 
and  perseverance  in  prosecuting  the  Mission,  of  the  consummation 
of  which  we  cannot  agree  to  despond.  We  could  not  reconcile 
ourselves  to  the  sacrifice  of  one  of  its  important  objects  to  our  per- 
sonal apprehensions  (supported  as  we  are  by  authority  and  circum- 
stances) whilst  the  recollection  of  the  illustrious  energies  of  an 
enterprising  traveller,  forlorn  and  destitute,  appeals  to  our  spirit, 
and  impresses  the  expectations  of  our  country.     We  are,  &c. 

(Signed) 

T.  EDWARD  BOWDICH. 

-     W.  HUTCHISON. 

HENRY  TEDLIE. 


Coomassie,  May  24,  1817- 

To  THE  Governor  and  Council,  Cape  Coast  Castle, 

Gentlemen, 
The  act  our  former  letter  has  avowed,  and  we  would  presume 
(after  the  most  deliberate  reflection)  to  add  justified,  has  made  it 
our  duty  to  communicate  (independently  of  Mr.  James)  the  circum- 
stances of  the  interval  we  may  await  your  pleasure. 

If  this  duty  had  not  been  imposed  on  us  by  the  act  in  question, 
the  imminent  fatality  engendered  in  the  debate  of  to  day,  and 
quickened  by  the  ardor  of  the  captains,  would  have  demanded 
from  our  private  as  well  as  our  public  feelings,  the  most  energetic 
representations  (as  auxiliary  to  those  of  Mr,  James,)  in  impressing 


56  MISSION  TO  ASIIaNTEE. 

the  calamities  and  the  sacrifices  which  menace  the  Settlements  and 
the  Mission,  to  secure  your  serious  deliberation,  as  the  only  pre- 
ventive we  can  look  to  with  confidence. 

Yesterday  we  were  conducted  some  way  without  the  town  to  an 
assembly  of  the  Moorish  caboceers  and  dignitaries,  who  exert 
every  device  against  us.  A  chapter  was  read  from  the  Koran,  and 
we  were  ordered  to  sweai'  by  that  book  that  we  had  no  rogues 
palaver,  and  that  we  had  put  no  poison  in  the  King's  liquor.  We 
severally  refused  to  swear  on  the  Koran,  but  offered  to  do  so  on 
our  own  prayer  books.  The  King's  linguist  mediated,  and  asked 
us  if  we  would  only  strike  that  book  three  times,  and  then  declare 
as  much,  because  the  Moors  said,  that  book  would  kill  us  if  w^e 
lied.  We  did  this,  and  were  about  two  hours  afterwards  ordered 
to  sit  without  our  house  and  receive  the  following  present  from  the 
King: 

One  bullock,  2  pigs,  8  oz.  of  gold,  for  Mr.  James. 

One  sheep,  2  oz.  4  ackies  of  gold,  for  each  of  us. 

To  each  of  the  numerous  Fantee  messengers,  10  ackies  of  gold. 

To  our  cooks,  a  large  assortment  of  pots  and  country  vessels, 
100  large  billets  of  wood,  100  yams,  100  bunches  of  plantains,  four 
of  sugar  cane,  four  (24  gallon)  pots  of  palm  oil,  three  jars  of  palm 
wine. 

To  the  soldiers,  10  ackies  of  gold. 

To  the  Accra  linguist,  10  ackies  of  gold. 

On  Saturday  we  were  summoned  to  the  King,  and  waited  as 
usual  a  considerable  time  in  one  of  the  outer  courts  of  the  palace, 
which  is  an  immense  building  of  a  variety  of  oblong  courts  and 
regular  squares,  the  former  with"  arcades  along  the  one  side,  some 
of  round  arches  symmetrically  turned,  having  a  skeleton  of  bam- 
boo ;  the  entablatures  exuberantly  adorned  with  bold  fan  and 
trellis  work  of  Egyptian  character.    They  have  a  suit  of  rooms 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  57 

over  them,  with  small  windows  of  wooden  lattice,  of  intricate  but 
regular  carved  work,  and  some  have  frames  cased  with  thin  gold. 
The  sc[uares  have  a  large  apartment  on  each  side,  open  in  front, 
with  two  supporting  pillars,  which  break  the  view  and  give  it  all 
the  appearance  of  the  proscenium  or  front  of  the  stage  of  the  older 
Italian  theatres.    They  are  lofty  and  regular,  and  the  cornices  of  a 
very  bold  cane  work  in  alto  relievo.     A  drop  curtain  of  curiously 
plaited  cane  is  suspended  in  front,  and  in  each  we  observed  chairs 
and  stools  embossed  with  gold,  and  beds  of  silk,  with  scattered 
regalia.    The  most  ornamented  part  of  the  palace  is  the  residence 
of  the  women.    We  have  passed  through  it  once  ;  the  fronts  of  the 
apartments  were  closed  (except  two  open  door  ways)  by  pannels 
of  curious  open  carving,  conveying  a  striking  resemblance  at  first 
sight  to  an  early  Gothic  screen ;  one  was  entirely  closed  and  had 
two  curious  doors  of  a  low  arch,  and  strengthened  or  battened 
with  wood- work,  carved  in  high  relief  and  painted  red.     Doors 
chancing  to  open  as  we  passed,  surprised  us  with  a  glimpse  of 
large  apartments  in  corners  we  could  not  have  thought  of,  the  most 
secret  appeared  the  most  adorned.     In  our  daily  course  through 
the  palace  there  is  always  a  delay  of  some  minutes,  before  the  door 
of  each  of  the  several  distinct  squares  is  unlocked ;  within  the 
inmost  square  is  the  council  chamber. 

To  day,  after  the  delay  of  nearly  an  hour  (which  seems  an  indis- 
pensible  ceremony)  in  the  outer  court,  (where  different  dignitaries 
were  passing  to  and  fro  with  their  insignia  and  retinues,)  we  were 
conducted  to  a  large  yard,  where  the  King,  encircled  by  a  varied 
profusion  of  insignia,  even  more  sumptuous  than  that  we  had  seen 
before,  sat  at  the  end  of  two  long  files  of  counsellors,  caboceers, 
and  captains ;  they  were  seated  under  their  umbrellas,  composed 
of  scarlet  and  yellow  cloth,  silks,  shawls,  cottons,  and  every  glar- 
ing variety,  with  carved  and  golden  pelicans,  panthers,  baboons, 


68  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

barrels,  crescents,  &c.  on  the  top  ;  the  shape  generally  a  dome. 
Distinct  and  pompous  retinues  were  placed  around,  with  gold 
canes,  spangled  elephants  tails  to  brush  off  the  flies,  gold  headed 
swords,  and  embossed  muskets,  and  many  splendid  novelties  too 
numerous  but  for  a  particular  report,  which  will  not  be  neglected 
Each  had  the  dignitaries  of  his  own  province  or  establishment  to 
his  right  and  left ;  and  it  was  truly  "  Concilium  in  Concilio." 
When  we  recollected  the  insignificant,  though  neat  appearance  of 
the  few  Ashantee  towns  we  had  passed  through  on  the  southern 
frontier,  and  even  the  extent  and  superior  character  of  the  capital, 
this  magnificence  seemed  the  effect  of  enchantment. 

We  have  intruded  this  sketch  to  impress  the  power  and  resour- 
ces of  the  monarch  we  are  to  conciliate,  and  to  anticipate  in  some 
degree  the  delay  of  Mr.  Bowdich's  report,  the  transcription  of 
■which  must  yield  to  the  present  momentous  communication. 

The  King  having  decided  a  cause  then  in  course,  by  which  one 
of  his  captains  was  condemned  to  death  for  cowardice,  ordered  the 
question  of  the  Annamaboe  and  Braffoe  notes  to  be  resumed.  The 
several  Fantec  messengers  were  heard,  the  King  of  Annamaboe's, 
Amooney's,  and  Payntree's  (the  interior  caboceer)  having  joined  us 
in  the  path.  They  appeared  all  equivocation  and  embarrassment, 
as  Quashie's  interpretations  confirmed  ;  they  were  incompetent 
to  answer  the  King^s  linguists,  and  unable  to  use  the  few  uninter- 
rupted intervals  which  were  allowed  them  to  any  purpose  :  it  seems 
they  would  not  acknowledge  what  the  full  amount  of  these  notes 
was.  Mr.  James  was  asked,  he  said  "  white  men's  heads  were  not 
like  black  men's,  and  he  could  not  recollect;  but  he  thought 4  oz. 
and  2  oz."  He  did  not  offer  to  learn  from  the  Governor.  Several 
impassioned  harangues  were  made  by  the  King's  linguists  and 
counsellors  :  the  King  said,  "  he  ha,d  4  oz.  from  Elniina,  and  2  oz. 
from  Enghsh  Accra ;  was  it  not  putting  shame  upon  him  to  send 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  59 

him  4  ackies  from  Cape  Coast?"  The  Cape  Coast  messenger 
(Quashie  Tom  had  absented  himself)  spoke  again  with  great  tre- 
pidation ;  the  King  could  not  conceal  his  emotions;  his  counsellors 
became  clamorous ;  in  an  instant  there  was  a  flourish  of  all  the 
horns ;  all  the  captains  rose  and  seized  their  gold  headed  swords 
from  their  attendants;  the  head  general  snatched  Mr.  Tedlie's 
from  his  scabbard ;  numerous  canopies  crowded  one  upon  the 
other  in  the  background,  as  if  some  considerable  personages  had 
arrived  ;  there  was  nothing  but  commotion,  wrath,  and  impatience. 
The  captains,  old  and  young,  rushed  before  the  King,  and  ex- 
claimed, as  Quashie  reported,  (who  seems  to  have  been  afraid  to 
tell  us  all,  and  was  restrained  by  Quamina)  "  King,  this  shames 
you  too  much  ;  you  must  let  us  go  to  night  and  kill  all  the  Fanlees, 
and  burn  all  the  towns  under  the  forts."  They  then  presented 
themselves  successively  with  their  bands  of  music  and  retinues, 
and  bowing  before  the  King,  received  his  foot  upon  their  heads ; 
each  then  directed  his  sword  to  the  King  (who  held  up  the  two 
first  fingers  of  his  right  hand)  and  swore  by  the  King's  head,  that 
they  would  go  with  die  army  that  night,  and  bring  him  the  books, 
and  the  heads  of  all  the  Fantees.  Each  captain  made  the  oath 
impressive  in  his  own  peculiar  manner;  some  seriously,  some  by 
ridicule,  at  our  expense,  and  that  of  the  Fantees,  pointing  at  our 
heads  and  ears,  and  endeavouring  to  intimidate  us  by  the  most 
insolent  action  and  gesture  as  they  held  out  their  swords.  The  old 
general  (Apokoo)  who  swore  the  last,  after  he  had  done  so  in  the 
most  expressive  manner,  threw  Mr.  Tedlie's  sword  to  him,  over 
the  heads  of  the  people  with  contemptuous  defiance.  The  number 
was  so  great,  that  we  thought  this  awful  ceremony  would  never 
finish. 

The  King  left  the  council  a  short  time.  In  the  interval,  Quamina 
Bwa  (our  guide)  told  Accra  Quashie  to  beg  Mr.  James  to  speak 


60  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

to  the  King  when  he  came  back,  and  try  and  appease  him.  Mr. 
James  did  so,  but  without  the  zeal,  presence  of  mind,  or  argument 
the  crisis  demanded ;  it  was  not  adequate  even  to  ameUorate  the 
King's  impression  of  the  Governor  and  the  English ;  it  was  no  more 
than  he  said  at  first.  The  King  took  not  the  least  notice  of  it,  but 
declared  angrily,  that  "  if  he  did  not  see  white  men's  faces  he 
would  cut  off  the  heads  of  every  Fantee  messenger  on  the  spot." 
Some  sheep  and  gold  were  then  brought  forward  and  presented  to 
the  Captains,  and  the  King  rose  abruptly  from  his  chair.  In  this 
anxious  moment  we  reflected  that  the  mulatto  of  General  Daendels 
had  a  long  audience  of  the  King  just  before  we  were  received  ;  no 
resource  was  to  be  left  untried,  that  was  manly  and  appropriate. 
Mr.  Bowdich  stepped  before  the  King,  and  declared  through  the 
linguist,  "  that  he  wished  to  speak  what  he  knew  would  make  the 
King  think  that  the  Governor  would  do  him  right,  and  was  his 
good  friend."  The  King  said  he  would  hear  him  speak  in  the 
house;  we  retired  amidst  the  insults  and  menaces  of  the  assembly. 
About  two  hours  after,  we  were  summoned,  and,  as  is  the 
etiquette,  kept  some  time  in  waiting ;  in  this  interval,  Mr.  James 
said  that  our  situation  being  very  critical,  it  was  a  pity  any  differ- 
ence should  be  observed,  and  that  he  thought  it  much  better  to  be 
reconciled.  Mr.  Bowdich  replied,  that  he  could  not  think  it  pos- 
sible our  sentiments  to  be  delivered  to  the  King  could  differ  at  such 
a  moment ;  that  if  they  did  we  should  assimilate  ours  to  his  as 
much  as  possible ;  but  feehng  the  necessity  for  the  greatest  energy, 
for  every  address  and  argument  for  the  conviction  of  the  King,  we 
must,  for  the  public  good,  continue  our  assumption  of  the  privilege 
of  strengthening  his  declarations  by  our  own  until  our  recall,  that 
we  should  be  tender  of  his  dignity,  but  that  it  being  a  difference 
on  a  point  of  pubhc  duty,  we  could  not  compound  it,  but  would 
take  the  consequences.     We  were  received  ;  the  King's  aspect  was 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE,  61 

stern ;  he  prefaced  that  "  he  did  not  wish  to  make  war  with  the 
English ;  but  that  the  4  ackies  a  month  shamed  him  too  much  ; 
that  the  captains  said  to  him,  King !  thej  cheat  you,  they  put 
shame  on  you  ;  we  will  go  to  night  and  bring  you  the  heads  of  all 
the  Fantees;  that  he  Avas  forced  to  say  to  them,  I  beg  your  pardon, 
but  as  I  see  the  white  men's  faces,  I  beg  you  to  stay  till  to-morrow, 
when  they  can  write  to  the  Governor,  and  they  will  tell  me  them- 
selves what  he  says  ;  then  if  he  does  not  send  me  Amooncy's  and 
the  BrafFoes  books,  you  shall  go  and  kill  all;  that  he  had  been 
obliged  afterwards  to  dash  them  sheep  and  gold  to  make  them 
stay  until  the  white  men  got  the  Governor's  letter."  Mr.  James 
assured  the  King  "  that  the  King  of  England  and  the  Governor 
wished  to  be  friends  with  him,  to  do  all  that  was  right ;  and  he 
thought  in  his  own  mind  that  the  Governor  would  give  up  the 
books."  The  King  took  no  notice,  and  continued  serious  :  the 
moment  called  for  the  most  energetic  appeal  to  his  reason,  for 
every  imposing  argument  and  circumstance.  There  was  a  long 
pause;  Mr.  Bowdich  rose,  and  charged  Mr.  James's  hnguist  to 
interpret  truly.  We  took  the  precaution  of  making  notes  of  this 
speech,  feeling  we  should  be  particular  where  we  pledge  our 
honour,  and  volunteer  our  affidavit ;  it  was  as  follows. 

"  We  swore  yesterday  as  the  King  wished,  to  day  we  wish  to 
swear  as  we  should  before  our  own  King."  The  King  held  up  the 
two  first  fingers  of  his  right  hand  as  he  did  to  the  captains.  "  We 
swear"  (presenting  our  swords  and  kissing  the  hilt,  as  the  most 
imposing  form  that  occurred  to  us)  "  by  our  God,  and  by  our 
King,  and  we  know  the  Governor  of  Accra  will  do  the  same,  that 
we  mean  no  bad  to  the  King,  that  the  King  of  England  and  the 
Company  ordered  the  Governor  to  send  us  to  make  the  Ashantees 
and  English  as  one,  that  we  are  sure  the  Governor  will  do  the 
King  right,  and  that  when  we  write  him  all  the  King  says,  we  will 


62  jMISSION  to  ASHANTEE. 

write  also  that  we  think  the  King's  palaver  good.  We  were  sent 
to  make  the  Enghsh  and  Ashantees  as  one,  because  our's  is  the 
greatest  white,  your's  the  greatest  black  nation,  and  when  two 
great  nations  are  friends,  it  makes  good.  I  came  out  in  the  ship 
that  was  sent  to  tell  the  Governor  this,  and  when  he  heard  it,  he 
said  it  gave  him  very  much  pleasure.  The  King  of  England  and 
the  Company  thought  the  Governor  should  send  to  the  King,  to 
send  some  of  his  great  men  to  Cape  Coast,  that  we  might  be  safe ; 
but  the  Governor  said,  no !  there  was  no  occasion,  and  wrote  to 
the  King  and  the  Company  that  he  could  trust  all  his  officers  in 
Ashantee,  because  the  King's  honour  made  them  safe,  so  we  came 
without  sending,  because  we  knew  the  King  was  our  true  fiiend. 

"  The  Governor,  wished  always  to  do  the  King  right,  but  the 
Fantees  never  would  tell  him  what  was  right,  so  he  wrote  to  the  King 
of  England  to  send  him  some  presents,  that  he  n)ight  send  his  own 
officers  to  the  King,  and  hear  properly  from  the  King's  own  mouth 
what  was  right,  because  the  I'antees  never  would  tell  him  what 
was  true,  or  what  the  King  said.  When  the  Governor  reads  what 
we  shall  write  him,  then  he  will  know  tlie  truth  for  the  first  time. 
We  shall  stay  to  make  the  Ashantees  and  English  one,  and  we 
pledge  our  lives  to  the  King,  that  we  speak  a  proper  palaver,  and 
when  we  speak  true  before  God  and  the  King  we  cannot  fear." 

There  were  repeated  and  general  applauses  as  each  sentence 
was  interpreted ;  the  King,  smiled,  and  desired  his  linguist  to  say 
to  Mr.  Bowdich  as  Quashie  interpreted,  "  The  King  likes  you, 
you  speak  a  proper  good  palaver,  you  speak  like  a  man,  the  King 
wishes  to  be  a  friend  to  white  men  ;  he  thinks  white  men  next  to 
God."  Here  the  King  raised  his  hands  to  heaven,  and  then 
covering  his  face,  Quashie  continued  to  interpret.  "  The  King 
thanks  God  and  his  own  fetish,  that  they  have  sent  him  white  men 
to  talk  proper  like  this  to  him,  and  when  you  three  white  men  go 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  m 

back  to  Cape  Coast,  and  the  Governor  has  bad  put  into  his  head, 
and  think  you  did  wrong,  then  if  you  want  any  thing  to  eat,  send 
a  messenger  to  him  and  he  will  send  you  plenty,  for  the  King 
thinks  you  do  right  to  God  and  him,  and  to  your  King,  and  to  the 
Governor,  and  that  you  will  get  much  honour  when  you  go  back ; 
so  the  King  thanks  j^ou,  and  says  you  speak  well/'  The  King  then 
asked  Mr.  James  if  he  would  swear  on  his  sword  like  us,  as  we 
said  ;  Mr.  James  did  so.  The  King  made  an  observation  which  it 
seems  Ave  cannot  convey  to  you  in  its  full  force,  or  nearer  than, 
that  he  liked  the  three  white  men  because  they  always  stood  up  to 
speak,  and  pushed  forward  to  get  what  they  wanted.  Many 
auxiliary  observations  were  afterwards  offered  casually  by  each  of 
us,  to  confirm  his  change  of  sentiment.  The  Fantee  linguists 
attempted  to  intimidate  the  linguist  Quashie  of  Accra,  but  ineffec- 
tually ;  this  man  is  invaluable  from  his  influence  and  intelligence, 
he  is  our  only  safe  medium,  and  interprets  to  the  King  anxiously 
and  impressively. 

The  King  appeared  much  pleased,  and  made  us  a  long  speech. 
"  The  King  says  the  Fantees  are  all  rogues,  the  Governor  knows 
that  very  well ;  the  King  thinks  they  always  put  bad  palaver  in 
the  Governor's  head,  he  always  tells  his  captains  so;  he  is  sure 
you  come  to  do  him  right.  The  King  wishes  all  good  for  the 
English ;  he  swears  by  God  and  by  the  fetish,  that  if  the  English 
could  know  how  the  Fantees  serve  him,  and  all  the  bad  they  do, 
they  would  say  his  palaver  was  good.  The  King  speaks  true.""  He 
then  gave  vis  an  ouline  of  the  Fantee  war,  which  must  have  con- 
vinced even  the  most  prejudiced,  of  his  injuries  and  forbearance, 
and  their  injustice  and  cruelly. 

The  King  says,  "  if  the  English  trust  to  him,  he  will  take  more 
care  of  the  forts  than  the  Fantees  can,  he  will  do  them  great  good, 
he  does  not  want  to  do  nothing.     He  will  send  the  English  his 


64  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

trade ;  he  will  send  them  good  gold  like  what  he  wears  himself, 
(shewing  his  armlets,)  not  bad  gold  like  he  knows  the  Fantees 
make,  his  people  don't  know  how  to  do  that,  the  Fantees  do  it  in 
their  own  houses  before  they  give  it  to  white  men.  If  at  any  time 
the  English  in  the  forts  are  in  want  of  any  thing  to  eat,  and  send 
to  him,  he  will  send  them  every  thing.  To  morrow  is  Sunday, 
but  the  next  day  is  Monday,  then  he  will  give  you  a  proper 
messenger." 

We  cannot  do  justice  to  the  King's  sentiments  either  in  detail 
or  in  expression  ;  they  were  incredibly  liberal,  and  would  have 
ennobled  the  most  civilized  monarch ;  they  seemed  to  break  the 
spell  which  has  shut  the  Interior.  He  begged  us  to  drink  with  him, 
and  Mr.  James  agreed  in  the  toast  of  "  May  the  Ashantees  and 
English  always  be  one ;"  it  pleased  him,  and  he  begged  us  to  touch 
his  glass  with  ours.  He  then  turned  suddenly  to  the  Fantee 
messengers  (who  were  trembling  in  the  rear)  and  said,  "you  made 
me  very  angry  with  you,  and  I  am  very  angry  with  you,  but  never 
mind,  come  and  drink  some  of  my  liquor." 

Our  critical  situation  demands  the  delivery  of  our  sentiments  on 
the  subject  of  these  notes  ;  we  do  so  with  diffidence  and  respect. 
The  services  of  the  Braffoes,  who  hold  the  one,  are  merely 
nominal,  their  enmity  nugatory  from  their  political  situation ;  the 
issuing  of  a  fresh  note  to  Amooney  will  be  but  a  small  addition  to 
the  expenditure,  and  even  the  expense  of  renewing  them  both 
cannot  be  weighed  with  the  prevention  of  another  Fantee  war,  of 
the  destruction  of  a  whole  people,  and  the  ruin  of  our  Settlements 
in  their  defence,  with  the  defeat  of  the  intrigue  and  devices  of  our 
rival,  and  the  acquisition  of  the  confidence  of  a  powerful  and 
liberal  monarch,  whose  influence  may  perfect  the  views  of  the 
British  Government  on  the  Interior.  We  hail  the  circumstances  as 
auspicious,  even  in  the  present  serious  moment. 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  65 

Mr.  James  confesses  that  he  desponds  of  consummating  the 
objects  of  the  Mission ;  we  do  not ;  we  would  be  responsible  for 
all  of  them,  but  we  diffidently  await  your  decision.  We  must  claim 
this  momentary  calm  of  the  King  to  ourselves,  because  it  only 
affords  us  the  credit,  or  rather  the  justification  of  having  done  our 
duty,  which  we  are  resolute  in  repeating  Mr.  James  has  not.  What 
has  been  said  through  Mr.  Bowdich  is  here  reported  faithfully  ;  we 
have  not  committed  the  Governor  or  ourselves. 

Gentlemen,  our  situation  is  critical ;  if  your  answer  determines 
the  King  on  war,  we  are  his  prisoners  ;  if,  as  we  cannot  doubt,  the 
valour  of  our  countrymen  again  retards  his  progress  by  defences 
as  memorable  as  that  of  Annamaboe,  we  may  be  the  victims  of  an 
irritated  soldiery,  though  we  feel  it  would  be  with  the  reluctance  of 
a  generous  prince,  who  is  not  independent,  but,  unfortunately, 
controlled  by  a  military  despotism,  which  deposed  his  brother  and 
invested  him. " 

But,  Gentlemen,  if  in  your  better  knowledge  and  reflection,  you 
cannot  consistently  with  your  honour  and  your  trust,  meet  the 
King's  demand,  the  history  of  our  country  has  fortified  our  minds 
with  the  illustrious  example  of  a  Vansittart,  and  his  colleagues,  who 
were  situated  as  we  are,  when  the  dawn  of  British  intercourse  in 
India  was  scarcely  more  advanced  than  its  dawn  in  Africa  now ; 
and  their  last  request  to  their  Council  is  our  present  conclusion  to 
you — "  Do  not  put  our  lives  in  competition  with  the  honour  and 
interests  of  our  country." 

We  are,  &c.  &c. 

(Signed)  T.  EDWARD  BOWDICH. 

W.  HUTCHISON. 

HENRY  TEDLIE. 


66  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Coomatsie,  May -ISth,  181 7. 
To  THE  GOVEUNOR  AND  CoUXCIL. 

Gentlemen, 

On  Sunday  the  King  visited  us  at  our  quarters,  and  expressed 
much  gratification  with  the  trifles  we  presented  him  individually, 
and  our  solicitude  in  explaining  some  plates  of  botanical  and 
natural  history,  which  he  sends  for  frequently. 

On  Monday  we  had  a  public  audience  before  the  Captains, 
(whose  ill-will  has  been  acknowledged,)  when  two  messengers  were 
ordered  lo  accompany  one  of  ours  to  Cape  Coast,  with  the  letters 
to  the  Governor,  and  were  impressively  sworn ;  they  received  their 
instructions  in  a  speech  from  the  linguist  of  nearly  two  hours ;  it 
seemed  to  be  intended  to  conciliate  the  Captains  at  the  same  time. 
In  the  afternoon  the  King  sent  for  us  again,  and  said  he  wished 
to  dictate  a  letter  to  the  Governor.  Mr.  James  wrote  the  sense  of 
the  King's  expressions,  but  was  obliged  to  leave  off  from  indispo- 
sition. The  King  would  not  trust  it  out  of  his  hands.  Yesterday 
evening  it  was  concluded,  when  the  King  proposed  to  make  his 
mark,  and  insisted  on  repeating  it  in  the  direction.  We  have  taken 
the  pains  to  preserve  this  curious  letter  verbatim,  which  from  its 
length,  and  our  constant  interruption,  we  are  compelled  to  reserve 
with  many  curious  particulars  for  the  General  Report. 

We  are  anxiously  waiting  a  summons  to  hand  our  dispatches  to 
the  messenger.  Nine  days  are  allowed  for  the  journey  to  Cape 
Coast,  and  nine  for  the  return.  The  whole  time  has  been  gradually 
extended,  by  intreaty  of  the  Fantee  messengers,  from  eighteen  to 
thirty  days. 

Mr.  Hutchison  is  ill  with  a  bilious  attack,  and  several  of  the 
people  with  a  fever  and  dysentery.     The  heat  is  veiy  powerful 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  67 

here,  but  Mr.  Bowdich  and  Mr.  Tedlie   continue  in  excellent 
health. 

We  would  recommend  the  sending  up  a  common  green  silk 
umbrella,  and  a  Company's  dirk,  as  presents  to  the  King's  favou- 
rite nephew. 

Our  confinement  to  the  house  is  rather  irksome  ;  we  are  not ' 
allowed  to  walk  in  the  town  without  Captains  accompanying  us. 

12  o'clock.  The  King  sent  to  say  Mr.  Bowdich  must  come  to 
the  palace,  and  mount  the  chief  captain's  horse,  and  shew  him 
how  Englishmen  ride.  Mr.  Bowdich  went,  and  by  the  King's 
desire  gallopped  up  and  down  the  opposite  hill.  The  King  ex- 
pressed great  anxiety  when  the  horse  was  made  to  play  his  tricks  ; 
and  when  Mr.  Bowdich  persevered,  and  made  him  gallop  back 
and- alighted,  the  King  sent  him  word  that  "  he  rode  like  a  proper 
man,  that  he  stayed  on  the  horse  well,  and  made  him  do  proper." 

4  o'clock.  The  King  sent  for  us  at  two,  to  make  some  additions 
to  the  letter,  and  to  seal  it  in  his  presence.  A  long  prayer  was 
uttered  by  a  Moor  after  the  sealing  of  the  letter,  and  we  were 
called  back  to  be  again  impressed  with  the  example  and  justice  of 
the  Dutch  as  regards  the  books.  Mr.  Hutchison's  illness  pre- 
vented his  attendance  to  day.     The  messengers  are  to  go  to  night. 

May  29th,  3  p.  m.  The  messengers  and  the  Fantee  bearers, 
have  been  delayed  in  consequence  of  the  death  of  a  person  of 
rank,  and  their  assistance  in  the  custom.  I  am  now  assured  that 
they  will  leave  Coomassie  at  4  o'clock. 

In  reply  to  the  request  we  urged  to  Mr.  James,  that  he  would 
dismiss  our  hammock  men,  as  they  had  been  of  so  little  service  to 
us  in  coming  up,  and  were  a  considerable  expense  ;  he  impressed 
that  it  would  be  contrary  to  your  instructions. 

Only  one  message  from  the  King  to  day,  and  that  a  private  one 
to  Mr.  Bowdich,  with  permission  for  him  to  ride  :    he  went  all 


68  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

round  the  town,  which  he  considers  to  be  about  three  miles  in 
circumference:  the  King  afterwards  sent  him  word,  that  to-morrow 
he  must  ride  on  a  cloth  only,  as  he  had  heard  the  English  did. 

We  are,  &c.  &c. 
(Signed)  T.  E.  BOWDICH. 

H.  TEDLIE. 

P.  S.  Mr.  James  had  a  severe  relapse  of  fever  last  night,  and 
was  very  ill  this  morning  ;  at  10  o'clock  a.  m.  he  had  the  cold 
bath,  and  some  febrifuge  medicine.  Mr.  Hutchison  is  rather 
better,  the  soldiers  also,  but  the  hammock  men  continue  much  the 
same. 


Sai  Tootoo   Quamina,  King  of  Ashantee  and  its   Dependencies, 
to  John  Hope  Smith,  Esquire,  Governor  in  Chief  of  the  British 
.i.   Settlements  on  the  Gold  Coast  of  Africa. 

The  King  sends  his  compliments  to  the  Governor,  he  thanks  the 
King  of  England  and  him  very  much  for  the  presents  sent  to  him, 
he  thinks  them  very  handsome.  The  King's  sisters  and  all  his 
friends  have  seen  them,  and  think  them  very  handsome,  and  thank 
him.  The  King  thanks  his  God  and  his  fetish  that  he  made  the 
Governor  send  the  white  men's  faces  for  him  to  see,  like  he  does 
now;  he  likes  the  English  very  much,  and  the  Governor  all  the  same 
as  his  brother 

The  King  of  England  has  made  war  against  all  the  other  white 
people  a  long  time,  and  killed  all  the  people  all  about,  and  taken 
all  the  towns,  French,  Dutch,  and  Danish,  all  the  towns,  all  about. 
The  King  of  Ashantee  has  made  Avar  against  all  the  people  of  the 
water  side,  and  all  the  black  men  all  about,  and  taken  all  their 
towns. 

When  the  King  of  England  takes  a  French  town,  he  says. 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  69 

"  come,  all  this  is  mine,  bring  all  your  books,  and  give  me  all 
your  pay,"  and  if  they  don't  do  it,  does  the  Governor  think  the 
King  of  England  likes  it  ?  *  So  the  King  has  beat  the  Fantees  now 
two  times,  and  taken  all  their  towns,  and  they  send  and  say  to  him, 
you  are  a  great  King,  we  want  to  serve  you ;  but  he  says.  Hah ! 
you  want  to  serve  me,  then  bring  all  your  books,  what  you  get 
from  the  forts,  and  then  they  send  him  four  ackies,  this  vexes  him 
too  much. 

The  first  time  he  made  war  against  the  Fantees,  two  great  men 
in  Assin  quarrelled,  so  half  the  people  came  to  Ashantee,  half  went 
to  Fan  tee.  The  King  said,  what  is  the  reason  of  this,  so  he  sent 
his  gold  swords  and  canes  to  know  why  they  did  so,  and  the 
Fantees  killed  his  messengers  and  took  all  their  gold.f-  After  they 
fought  with  the  Elminas  and  Accras,  the  Fantees  sent  word  to  the 
King  they  would  serve  him  ;  the  King  sent  word  to  the  Assins,  if 
it  is  true  that  the  Fantees  want  to  serve  me,  let  me  hear ;  after  that 
they  sent  to  say  yes !  they  tired  of  fighting,  and  wanted  to  serve 
him,  he  said,  well,  give  me  some  gold,  what  you  get  from  the 
books,  and  then  you  shall  hear  what  palaver  I  have  got  in  my 
head,  and  Ave  can  be  friends;  then  he  sent  some  messengers,  and 
after  they  waited  more  than  two  years,  the  Fantees  sent  word  back, 
no !  we  don't  want  to  serve  the  King,  but  only  to  make  the  path 
open  and  get  good  trade :  this  vexed  the  King  too  much. 

Then  the  Fantees  sent  to  a  strong  man,  Cudjoe  Coomah,  and 

*  This  is  an  extraordinary  impression,  that  all  the  towns  in  Europe  are  supported 
like  those  under  the  forts,  holding  notes  from  their  governments  for  annual  stipends. 

•f-  Here  the  King's  linguist  ceased,  and  by  his  desire  requested  us  to  repeat 'all  the 
King  had  said,  he  was  much  pleased  with  our  accuracy,  and  begged  us  to  take  some 
refreshment,  (spirits  and  palm  wine  were  introduced  in  silver  bowls)  fearing  he  had  kept 
us  too  long  without  eating,  and  would  continue  the  letter  to-morrow.  He  locked  up 
what  had  been  written,  and  heard  it  read  again  the  next  day,  before  his  linguists  con- 
tinued. 


70  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

said, "  coine,  let  us  put  our  heads  together  against  the  King ;"  after 
that,  when  the  King  heard  this,  he  sent  one,  not  a  great  man,  but 
his  own  shive,  and  said,  well  you  will  do,  go  kill  all  the  people, 
all  the  Aquapims,  and  Akims,  and  all ;  and  so  he  killed  all,  and 
after  he  killed  all  he  came  and  told  him. 

When  he  sent  against  Akim,  the  people  in  Akim  sent  word,  that 
they  told  their  head  men  not  to  vex  the  King,  but  they  would  not 
mind  them,  so  he  killed  the  head  people,  and  the  others  begged 
his  pardon. 

When  the  King  went  to  fight  with  the  Fantees  they  sent  this 
saucy  word — we  will  kill  you  and  your  people,  and  stand  on 
you;  then  they  did  not  kill  one  Ashantee  captain,  but  the  King 
killed  all  the  Fantee  captains  and  people.  They  do  not  stand 
on  him. 

•  That  time,  after  the  King  fought,  all  the  Fantees  sent  word,  Avell 
we  will  serve  you,  but  you  must  not  send  more  harm  to  hurt  us, 
we  don't  want  to  fight  more,  but  to  make  good  friends  with  you. 
Then  the  King  said,  what  caboceer  lives  at  Cape  Coast  and 
Annaniaboe,  what  books  they  get  from  the  forts,  let  them  send 
all,  and  then  we  can  be  friends.  And  the  King  sent  word  too,  if 
my  messengers  go  to  Cape  Coast  fort,  and  if  they  bring  pots 
of  gold,  and  casks  of  goods,  then  I  can't  take  that,  but  I  must 
have  the  books. 

After  that  the  King  sent  word  to  the  Governor  of  Cape  Coast 
and  the  Governor  of  Annamaboe,  well !  you  know  I  have  killed 
all  the  Fantees,  and  I  must  have  Adocoo's  and  Amooney's  books, 
and  I  can  make  friends  with  you,  good  brother  and  good  heart ; 
but  now  they  send  four  ackies,  that  is  what  makes  the  King's  heart 
break  out  when  he  looks  on  the  book  and  thinks  of  four  ackies, 
and  his  captains  swear  that  the  Fantees  are  rogues  and  want  to 
cheat  him.    When  the  white  men  see  the  Fantees  do  this,  and  the 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  71 

English  officers  bring  him  this  four  ackies,  it  makes  him  get  up 
very  angry,  but  he  has  no  palaver  with  white  men. 

All  Fantee  is  his,  all  the  black  mans  country  is  his ;  he  hears  that 
white  men  bring  all  the  things  that  come  here ;  he  wonders  they 
do  not  fight  with  the  Fantees,  for  he  knows  they  cheat  them.  Now 
he  sees  white  men,  and  he  thanks  God  and  his  fetish  for  it. 

When  the  English  made  Apollonia  fort  he  fought  with  the 
Aowins,  the  masters  of  that  country,  and  killed  them ;  then  he  said 
to  the  caboceer,  I  have  killed  all  your  people,  your  book  is  mine ; 
the  caboceer  said,  true !  so  long  as  you  take  my  town,  the  book 
belongs  to  you. 

He  went  to  Dankara  and  fought,  and  killed  the  people,  then  he 
said ;  give  me  the  book  you  get  from  Elmina,  so  they  did,  and 
now  Elmina  belongs  to  him.* 

The  English  fort  at  Accra  gave  a  book  to  an  Akim  caboceer, 
called  Aboigin  Adjumawcon.  The  King  killed  him  and  took  the 
book.  The  Dutch  fort  gave  a  book  to  another  Akim  caboceer, 
Curry  Curry  Apam.  The  Danish  fort  gave  a  book  to  another 
Akim  caboceer,  ArraAva  Akim ;  the  King  killed  all  and  took  their 
books. 

This  King,  Sai,  is  young  on  the  stool,  but  he  keeps  always  in 
his  head  what  old  men  say,  for  it  is  good,  and  his  great  men  and 
linguists  tell  it  him  every  morning.  The  King  of  England  makes 
three  great  men,  and  sends  one  to  Cape  Coast,  one  to  Annamaboe, 
and  one  to  Accra ;  Cape  Coast  is  the  same  as  England.  The  King- 
gets  two  ounces  from  Accra  every  moon,  and  the  English  wish  to 
give  him  only  four  ackies  for  the  big  fort  at  Cape  Coast,  and  the 
same  for  Annamboe ;  do  white  men  think  this  proper  ? 

When  the  King  killed  the  Dankara  caboceer  and  got  two  ounces 
from  Elmina,  the  Dutch  Governor  said,  this  is  a  proper  King,  we 

*  The  King  always  spoke  of  the  acts  of  all  his  ancestors  as  his  own. 


72  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

shall  not  play  with  him,  and  made  the  book  four  ounces.  The 
King  has  killed  all  the  people,  and  all  the  forts  are  his  ;  he  sent  his 
captains  to  see  Avhite  men,  now  lie  sees  them,  and  thanks  God  and 
his  fetish.  If  the  path  was  good  when  the  captains  went,  the  King 
would  have  gone  under  the  forts  and  seen  all  the  white  men.  The 
Ashantees  take  good  gold  to  Cape  Coast,  but  the  Fantees  mix  it ; 
he  sent  some  of  his  captains  like  slaves  to  see,  and  they  saw  it ;  ten 
handkerchiefs  are  cut  to  eight,  water  is  put  to  rum,  and  charcoal 
to  powder,  even  for  the  King ;  they  cheat  him,  but  he  thinks  the 
white  men  give  all  those  things  proper  to  the  Fantees. 

The  King  knows  the  King  of  England  is  his  good  friend,  for  he 
has  sent  him  handsome  dashes ;  lie  knows  his  officers  are  his  good 
friends,  for  they  come  to  see  him.  The  King  wishes  the  Governor 
to  send  to  Elmina  to  see  what  is  paid  him  there,  and  to  write  the 
King  of  England  how  much,  as  the  English  say  their  nation  passes 
the  Dutch ;  he  will  see  by  the  books  given  him  by  both  forts.  If 
the  King  of  England  does  not  Hke  that,  he  may  send  him  himself 
what  he  pleases,  and  then  Sai  can  take  it. 

He  thanks  the  King  and  Governor  for  sending  four  white  men 
to  see  him.  The  old  King  wished  to  see  some  of  them,  but  the 
Fantees  stop  it.  He  is  but  a  young  man  and  sees  them,  and  so 
again  he  thanks  God  and  his  fetish. 

Dated  in  the  presence  of, 

T.  Edward  Bowdich, 

William  Hutchison, 

Henry  Tedlie. 


( 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  73 

■''  Maj  30.  Apokoo  sent  us  a  present  of  30  ackies  of  gold  and 
some  fruits. 

June  1.  The  King  sent  to  desire  Mr.  Tedlie  to  bring  his  instru- 
ments and  medicines,  and  explain  their  uses  to  him  ;  he  was 
shrewdly  inquisitive,  and  presented  Mr.  Tedlie  with  6  ackies  of 
gold  in  approbation  of  his  intelligence 

June  4.  The  King  paid  us  a  visit  at  our  quarters,  and  expressed 
himself  highly  gratified  with  some  botanical  engravings:  he  said 
white  men  tried  to  know  so  much  they  would  spoil  their  heads  by 
and  by.  We  were  allowed  to  take  a  walk  in  the  town  to  day,  in 
charge  of  two  captains.  We  had  scarcely  passed  the  palace  when 
two  men  were  decapitated  for  cowardice :  three  others  had  been 
executed  during  the  night. 

June  5.  Bakkee,  to  whom  our  house  formerly  belonged,  had 
been  sent  the  second  in  command  of  the  army  with  which  Appia 
Danqua  invaded  Fantee  the  second  time,  in  pursuit  of  the  Akim 
and  Aquapim  revolters.  Wearied  of  the  procrastination  and 
labours  of  the  campaign,  he  inconsiderately  observed  to  a  public 
messenger,  that,  as  the  King  had  declared  when  he  invaded  Fantee 
in  person,  that  he  would  have  the  head  of  every  Fantee  caboceer, 
and  yet  returned  with  a  part  only ;  so  he  could  not  be  expected  to 
forego  the  enjoyment  of  the  riches  and  luxuries  of  his  home,  until 
every  revolter  was  killed.  On  his  return  to  the  capital  without 
leave,  he  was  charged  with  this,  and  not  denying  it,  was  stripped 
of  all  his  property,  and  hung  himself.  Aboidwee  our  present 
house  master  was  raised  to  Bakkee's  stool,  or  seat  in  council,  to 
which  1700  retainers  are  attached. 

June  9.  The  King  sent  us  two  sheep  and  a  large  quantity  of 
fruit;  his  nephew  also  sent  us  a  sheep.  ,;oa  ti;  k*   rjiirF 

June  11.  We  Avere  invited  to  attend  the  King's  le\''ee,  on  the 
Adai  custom,  and  were  presented  Avith  a  flask  of  rum  and  a  fat 

L 


74  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

sheep.     This  walk  was  a  great  relief,  for  the  longest  court  in  our 
quarters  was  not  more  than  14  feet.  ,       ^^q^ 

June  12.  The  King  sent  us  a  large  Hio  sheep  to  look  at;  it 
measured  4>j  feet  from  the  head  to  the  insertion  of  the  tail,  which 
Avas  two  feet  long,  its  height  was  three  feet,  and  il  was  covered  with 
coarse  shaggy  hair.  ;  ri> 

June  13.  The  King  sent  for  us  late  at  night ;  he  assured  us 
he  wished  to  think  well  of  the  English  ;  and  that  if  Cape  Coast 
was  not  so  far  off,  he  should  send  messengers  daily  to  wish  the 
Governor  good  morning,  but  the  Crambos  (Moors)  and  his  great 
men  thought  we  came  to  do  bad,  and  spy  the  country  ;  so  he  sent 
for  us  Avhen  it  was  dark,  that  they  might  not  know  it.  He  h»^ 
only  two  persons  with  him.     Mr.  James  was  too  ill  to  atterid^:)j/;'j 

n.  The  King  sent  a  present  to  our  quarters.of,.  .  ,,,    .;.  -juiji. 
2  ounces  of  gold  to  the  officers.  troif)*!  '^It  iff**-  n':>«?d 

20  ackies  to  our  people. 
10  ackies  to  our  linguists. 
1  hog,  1  sheep,  and  a  profusion  of  plantains  and  oranges. 
This  was  his  reproof  of  a  disgraceful  attempt  to  borrow  money  of 
him  for  our  subsistence  ;  of  which  Mr.  Hutchison,  Mr.  Tedhe,  and 
myself,  had  publicly  disclaimed  our  knowledge  and  sanction. 
Nothing  could  be  more  injurious  to  our  dignity.  ol 

18th.  Mr.  Tedlie  having  ventured  to  walk  a  few  yards  without 
the  town,  was  arrested  by  a  captain,  Avith  about  100  followers, 
who  detained  him  in  his  house  Avhilst  a  message  was  sent  to  the 
King,  who  desiring  Mr.  Tedlie  to  be  brought  before  him,  enquired 
if  he  had  his  small  box  (compass)  in  his  pocket,  and  finding  he 
had  not,  affected  to  reprove  the  captain  severely,  for  supposing 
either  of  us  could  wish  to  run  away,  whilst  the  King  Avas  our 
friend.     After  this  Ave  seldom  went  out. 

21st.  Bundahenna,  one  of  the  King's  uncles,  begged  him  for 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  75 

permission  to  go  and  make  custom  for  some  relatives  whom  he 
had  lost  in  the  last  Fantee  war,  as  he  feared  their  spirits  were 
beginning  to  trouble  him.  The  King  subscribed  four  ounces  of 
gold,  two  ankers  of  rum,  one  barrel  of  powder,  and  four  human 
victims  for  sacrifice,  towards  this  custom.  AVe  received  a  present 
of  11  ackies  of  gold  from  Quatchie  Quofies  household. 

26th.  We  received  a  present  from  a  captain  called  Obossa 
Cudjo,  of  10  ackies  of  gold,  and  another  from  Jessinting,  of  the 
same  quantity,  a  sheep  and  some  plantains. 

28th.  The  King  sent  us  a  large  quantity  of  plantains  and 
oranges.  Apokoo,  one  of  the  four  greatest  men  in  the  kingdom, 
hearing  his  mother's  sister  was  dead,  killed  a  slave  before  his 
house,  and  proceeded  to  her  croom  to  sacrifice  many  more,  and 
celebrate  her  funeral  custom;  but,  when  he  found,  on  opening 
her  boxes,  that  the  old  woman  from  her  dislike  of  him,  had  thrown 
almost  all  her  rock  gold  into  the  river,  and  that  he  should  only 
inherit  a  number  of  hungry  slaves,  he  sacrificed  but  one  more 
victim,  and  made  but  a  very  mean  custom. 

29th.  Attended  the  King's  levee,  and  were  presented  with  a 
flask  of  rum,  and  a  fat  sheep.  The  King  sent  us  word  that  he 
would  be  glad  to  let  us  walk  out,  but  there  were  many  bad  people 
who  would  kill  us  if  they  could.  We  were  gratified  by  an  invi- 
tation to  visit  Odumata,  one  of  the  four  aristocrats  ;  he  begged  us 
to  drink  palm  wine  with  him,  and  ordered  a  large  jar  of  it  to  be 
sent  to  our  servants.  He  told  us  he  was  the  first  captain  who 
fought  with  the  English  at  Annamaboe  ;  and  that  if  the  books 
were  not  sent,  he  would  be  the  first  to  do  so  again ;  he  asked  us  if 
we  \vould  take  him  to  England  to  see  our  King,  and  engage  to 
brin  ;  him  back  again ;  for,  having  sold  an  immense  number  of 
captives  as  slaves,  he  expected  some  of  them  might  recognise  him, 
and  call  out  to  the  King  of  England  to  stop  him,  because  he  had 
sent  them  out  of  their  own  country. 


76  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

July  2.  A  girl  was  ):)eheacled  for  insolence  to  one  of  the  King's 
sons,  'and  a  man  for  transgressing  the  law  by  picking  up  gold 
which  he  had  dropped  in  the  public  market  place,  where  all  that 
falls  is  allowed  to  accumulate  until  the  soil  is  washed  on  state 
emergencies. 

Srd.  This  morning  one  of  the  King's  sons  (about  10  years  of 
age)  shot  himself :  his  funeral  custom  was  celebrated  in  the  after- 
noon, and  a  smart  fire  of  musquetry  was  kept  up  until  sun-set, 
amidst  dancing,  singing,  and  revelry  ;  two  men  and  one  girl  were 
sacrificed,  and  their  trunks  and  heads  were  left  in  the  market 
place  till  dark.  The  mother  of  this  child,  a  favourite  wife  of  the 
King's,  having  added  crime  to  a  continued  perversity  of  conduct, 
had  been  put  to  death ;  the  boy  was  banished  the  King's  presence 
from  that  time.  This  morning  he  had  stolen  into  the  palace  for 
the  first  time,  and  the  King  desiring  him  to  be  removed,  observing 
that  he  had,  doubtless,  as  bad  a  head  towards  him  as  his  mother 
had  shewn  ;  he  replied,  that  if  he  could  not  be  allowed  to  come 
and  look  at  his  father,  he  had  better  die;  half  an  hour  afterwards 
he  destroyed  himself  privately,  by  directing  a  blunderbuss  into 
his  mouth,  and  discharging  it  with  his  foot.  The  keeper  of  the 
royal  cemetry  was  this  day  imprisoned.  His  wife  was  soon  after 
charged  by  the  council  with  making  fetish  to  turn  the  King's 
head  ;  she  replied  that  it  meant  no  more  than  to  make  the  King 
think  better  of  her  husband  ;  but  they  insisted  that  she  invoked 
the  Fetish  to  make  the  King  mad,  and  she  was  executed. 

5th.  A  loud  shout  from  our  people  announced  the  return  of  the 
messengers  from  Cape  Coast  Castle,  after  an  absence  of  thirty- 
eight  days. 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE,  77 


CHAPTER    III. 


Proceedings  and  Incidents  until  the  Third  Dispatch  to  Cape  Coast 

Castle. 

Cape  Coast  Castle,  June  21,  181 7. 

Sib,, 

JVIr.  James  being  ordered  to  return  here  as  soon  as  possible,  will 
deliver  you  his  instructions,  and  3'ou  will  immediately  on  receipt 
of  this  letter,  take  upon  yourself  the  management  of  the  Mission. 
I  have  every  reliance  on  your  prudence  and  discretion,  and  still 
firmly  hope  that  the  termination  of  the  Embassy  will  be  attended 
with  success,  and  that  the  sanguine  expectations  which  we  have 
entertained  as  to  the  result  of  it,  will  not  be  disappointed. 

The  King  has  received  a  very  erroneous  impression  of  the  affair 
of  the  Fantee  notes,  which  I  regret  to  hear  was  the  cause  of  a 
serious  disturbance :  I  am  glad  however  to  find  that  by  your 
prompt  mode  of  conduct,  you  were  in  some  measure  able  to  repress 
the  unfavourable  bias  it  seems  to  have  occasioned,  and  I  have  no 
doubt  that  an  explanation  of  the  circumstance  will  effectually 
remove  any  remaining  prejudice.  This  transaction  was  entirely 
between  the  Ashantee  messengers  and  Fantees,  negociated,  and 
determined  on  by  them  at  Abrah,  and  afterwards  ratified  here  by 
their  mutual  consent.  Hearing  that  messengers  from  the  King 
were  at  yVbrah,  I  invited  them  down,  wishing  through  their  medium 
to  communicate  with  him  concerning  the  conveyance  of  the  pre- 


78  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

sents  I  had  received  from  the  Committee.  After  some  delay  they 
arrived,  and  on  their  first  interview  made  known  their  errand  to 
the  Fantees,  and  the  manner  it  had  been  arranged,  applying  at  the 
same  time  for  two  notes  to  be  made  out  in  favour  of  Zey,  at  four 
ackies  each,  which  were  to  be  deducted  from  the  notes  of  Amooney 
and  Aduecoe  ;  not  being  perfectly  satisfied  from  the  representation 
of  these  people  as  to  the  justness  of  the  claim,  I  delayed  comply- 
ing until  it  Avas  stated  to  be  a  pledge  of  good  faith  and  allegiance 
on  the  part  of  the  Fantees,  and  a  confirmation  of  the  final  adjust- 
ment of  all  differences  between  the  two  parties,  and  as  such  they 
were  given  them.  The  nature  of  the  claim  having  been  fully  and 
satisfactorily  explained,  I  have  no  hesitation  in  complying  with  the 
wishes  of  the  King;  and  this  I  do  the  more  readily,  knowing  that 
by  the  extension  of  his  authority,  good  order  and  subjection  will  be 
better  preserved. 

This  will,  I  hope,  evince  to  the  King  my  friendly  intention 
towards  him;  and  you  will  impress  upon  his  mind,  that  it  is  my 
earnest  desire  to  cultivate  his  friendship,  the  establishment  of  which 
will  be  mutually  beneficial ;  and  in  order  that  the  union  betweeri 
us  may  be  more  closely  cemented,  I  am  particularly  desirous  that 
Mr.  Hutchison  be  permitted  to  reside  at  Ashantee,  which  will  be 
the  means  of  preventing  any  interruption  to  the  good  understanding 
which,  before  you  leave,  will,  I  hope,  be  firmly  settled. 

I  have  no  objection  to  you  returning  b}'  way  of  Warsaw,  but 
your  undertaking  the  journey  on  foot,  I  am  apprehensive,  you  will 
find  too  fatiguing.  The  hammock-men  are  engaged  for  the  trip, 
therefore  the  only  additional  expense  will  be  their  subsistence ;  I 
however  leave  it  to  you  to  dismiss  them  or  not. 

The  Accra  linguist  being  so  very  useful,  and  the  only  man  who 
will  interpret  faithfully,  you  will  retain  him  until  you  return. 

I  have  sent  you,  by  the  King's  messenger,  40  oz.  of  gold  to  defray 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

your  expenses ;  should  any  loan  have  been  granted  by  the  King, 
you  will  of  course  repay  him. 

I  send  you  a  piece  of  muslin  and  10  danes  for  presents  to  the 
Moors,  whose  friendship  it  will  be  highly  necessary  to  conciliate. 
I  have  also  at  your  request,  sent  a  dirk  and  umbrella,  intended  for 
the  King's  chief  captain  and  his  favourite  nephew. 

Quamina,  the  Ashantee  captain  at  Abrah,  has  refused  to  allow 
any  letters  to  pass  that  place  which  may  be  given  in  charge  to 
Ashantee  traders,  on  the  plea  that  by  so  doing  he  would  incur 
the  displeasure  of  the  King ;  who,  he  says,  expects  that  especial 
messengers  will  be  engaged  here  to  proceed  with  all  letters  to  the 
capital.  Not  long  ago  a  trader  who  had  received  a  letter,  was 
detained  by  him  at  Abrah,  and  the  letter  returned.  The  expense 
of  employing  messengers  here  on  every  occasion  Mould  be  material, 
which  is  quite  unnecessary,  as  opportunities  almost  daily  occur  for 
forwarding  letters  by  the  different  traders  going  from  hence.  I 
therefore  hope  your  representation  of  this  affair  to  the  King,  will 
induce  him  to  countermand  his  orders  to  Quamina,  if  any  such 
have  been  given  him. 

I  am.  Sir, 

your  most  obedient  Servant, 

JOHN  HOPE  SMITH. 

To  Thomas  Edward  Bowdich,  Esq. 


80  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 


John  Hope  Smith,  Esquire,  Governor  in  Chief  of  the  British 
Forts  and  Settlements  on  the  Gold  Coast  of  Africa,  to  Sai  Tootoo 
QuAMiNA,  King  of  Ashantee. 

Sir, 

I  HAVE  received  your  letter  of  the  26th  ult.  and  am  happy  to  find 
that  you  are  sincerely  desirous  of  cultivating  the  friendship  of  the 
British  nation.  Both  inclination  and  duty  urge  me  to  reciprocate 
the  sentiments  expressed  by  you,  and  I  shall  be  anxious  at  all 
times  to  promote  the  harmony  and  good  understanding  which,  I 
hope,  will  now  be  established  between  us  respectively,  and  which 
cannot  fail  to  be  mutually  advantageous. 

I  regret  to  find  there  has  been  so  much  trouble  about  the  Fantee 
notes,  and  I  am  sorry  you  did  not  apply  to  me  in  the  first  instance, 
as  the  affair  should  have  been  settled  immediately  to  your  satisfac- 
tion ;  but  I  knew  not  of  it,  except  from  the  Fantees  having  begged 
me  to  take  four  ackies  per  month  from  each  note,  which  they  said 
they  had  agreed  for  with  your  messengers  at  Abrah. 

I  observe  by  the  many  instances  qvioted  in  your  letter,  that  the 
notes  of  conquered  countries  have  been  transferred  to  your  ances- 
tors, therefore  it  shall  be  the  same  on  the  present  occasion.  Here- 
with I  send  you  two  notes,  one  for  two  oz.  per  month,  formerly 
held  by  Amooney,  also  one  from  the  caboceer  at  Abrah  for  two  oz. 
the  latter  was  only  12  ackies  per  month,  and  I  have  added  1  oz.  4 
to  it.  These,  and  the  notes  you  hold  from  Accra,  will  make  your 
Company's  pay  six  oz.  per  month,  which  shall  be  regularly  paid 
at  the  Castle. 

I  hope  my  ready  compliance  with  your  wishes  will  convince  you 
of  the  good  will  of  the  British  nation,  but  I  have  every  reason  to 
believe  that  attempts  have  been  made  to  prejudice  you  against  it, 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  81 

however  your  own  good  understanding  will  readily  suggest  to  you 
that  the  only  motive  is  jealousy  in  trade. 

The  conduct  of  the  English  you  will  always  find  very  different; 
they  enter  into  fair  competition  with  the  other  European  residents 
here,  but  they  never,  by  clandestine  means  or  false  assertions, 
endeavour  to  injure  their  character  with  the  natives  of  this  country. 

I  have  learned  wilh  regret  that  the  people  of  Elinina  are  using 
their  influence  to  induce  you  to  make  a  palaver  with  the  Com- 
mendas.  They  are  a  mere  handful  of  people,  extremely  poor  and 
not  worth  your  notice ;  besides  they  are  under  my  protection, 
therefore  I  hope  you  will  not  think  further  of  the  affair,  and  I  shall 
consider  your  comphance  in  this  instance,  as  the  greatest  possible 
proof  of  the  sincerity  of  your  intentions  towards  the  English. 

I  wish  you  health  and  happiness,  and  I  hope  you  will  reign 
many  years,  enjoying  the  love  of  your  subjects,  and  the  respect  of 
all  the  Europeans  resident  in  this  country. 

I  am,  Sir, 

your  faithful  friend, 

(Signed)  J.  H.  SMITH. 

€ape  Coast  Castle,  20th  June,  18 1 7- 

P.  S.  The  abolition  of  the  slave  trade  was  an  act  of  the  King 
and  the  Parliament  in  England,  in  which  the  government  in  this 
country  had  no  concern. 


«2  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

*-'  ■/ 

Coomassie,  July  9,  ISl/- 

To  John  Hope  Smith,  Esq.  Governor  in  Chief,  &c.  &c.  &c. 
Sir, 

The  messengers  returned  on  Saturday  the  5th  instant. 

To  be  confirmed  by  your  approbation,  in  the  opinion  that  my 
zeal  for  the  public  good  had  not  exceeded  my  duty,  is  a  most 
flattering  satisfaction.  The  appointment  you  have  conferred  on 
me,  is  an  acknowledgment  so  far  transcending  m}'  conduct,  that 
it  must  stimulate  eyery  ability  to  exert  itself  for  the  success  of  the 
Mission,  to  justify  such  an  honourable  distinction. 

The  box  containing  the  letters  was  opened  in  the  King's  pre- 
sence, but  being  engaged  in  a  custom  on  the  death  of  a  son,  he 
deferred  the  reading  of  your  letter,  retaining  it  Avith  the  notes.  His 
acknoAvledgments  of  your  justice  were  associated  with  the  decla- 
ration, that,  although  you  had  sent  him  the  notes,  still,  if  I  could 
not  fortify  him  with  the  prices  of  the  various  articles  to  be  received 
in  payment,  you  would  have  it  in  your  power  (though  he  did  not 
suspect  you)  to  reduce  the  intrinsic  of  the  whole,  to  that  of  the 
moiety  rejected.  The  proposition  of  the  same  prices  as  those 
attached  to  the  Accra  note,  was  annihilated  by  the  argument,  that 
Accra  was  a  small  fort,  and  not  like  Cape  Coast  or  Elmina.  So 
much  stress  was  laid  on  the  instance  of  the  latter,  that  I  felt  called 
upon  to  declare,  as  the  onl^^  striking  conviction,  that  you  did  not 
wish,  in  the  payment  of  these  notes,  to  treat  the  King  like  a  trader, 
and  therefore  would  not  allow  the  Elmina  Governor  to  act  more 
liberally  in  prices  than  yourself:  the  conviction  was  entire  and 
instantaneous. 

The  next  audience  did  not  take  place  until  Monday,  Mr.  James 
being  present.  I  did  justice  to  the  utmost  of  my  ability  to  your 
impressive  letter ;  the  effect  was  honourable  to  you,  and  encou- 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  83 

raging  to  myself;  the  King  ordered  me  to  take  his  hand,  in  his 
sensibiHty  to  the  strong  appeal  of  the  several  paragraphs,  and  again 
at  the  conclusion,  as  a  pledge  of  his  cordial  satisfaction  of  the 
whole  ;  his  linguist  followed  his  example,  (as  did  the  whole  council) 
when  he  laid  his  fore-finger  on  his  head  and  breast,  as  the  invoca- 
tion to  Heaven  for  the  vouchsafement  of  your  several  good  wishes, 
as  I  concluded  with  them.  I  was  reluctantly  compelled  to  yield 
a  minor  object  to  a  custom  consecrated  by  their  constitution.  The 
laws  of  the  three  first  Kings  (who  were  brothers,  and  cotemporary 
leaders  of  the  colony,  Avhose  conquests  established  the  Empire)  are 
sacred ;  and  it  was  a  law  of  Sai  Cudjo,  the  younger  brother,  and 
the  grandfather  of  the  present  King,  which  granted  to  particular 
captains  the  honourable  patent  of  receiving  the  pay  of  small  forts, 
distinctly,  each  being  responsible  for  his  separate  duties  to  his 
settlement.  If  this  law  were  not  inviolable,  the  King  pleads,  that  it 
would  be  an  invidious  act,  and  unjust  to  the  merits  of  the  Captain 
of  English  Accra,  (Asquah  Amanquah)  to  remove  the  payment  of 
the  Accra  note  to  Cape  Coast ;  but  as  the  other  appointments 
originate  in  him,  he  will  respect  your  wish,  by  constituting  one 
captain  to  receive  both  the  Abra  and  Annamaboe  notes  at  Cape 
Coast.  He  enquired  if  it  was  your  wish  that  no  Ashantee  trader 
should  go  to  Accra?  1  replied  no!  you  were  only  desirous  to 
induce  as  many  as  possible  to  come  to  Cape  Coast. 

The  Cape  Coast  linguists,  and  our  guide,  Quamina  Bwa,  con- 
firmed your  report  of  the  conduct  of  Quamina  Bootaqua,  the 
captain  now  at  Payntree,  in  the  negociation  of  the  notes;  it  excited 
the  greatest  surprise  and  indignation  ;  his  interception  of  letters 
was  disclaimed,  and  will  be  done  away  with.  I  submitted  to  the 
King,  on  retiring,  that  in  my  next  audience,  1  should  be  desirous 
of  declaring  the  purport  of  the  official  instructions  transferred  to 
me  (which  had  not  been  yet  avowed)  with   other  credentials, 


84  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

explanatory  and  impressive  of  the  good  wishes  and  intentions  of 
the  Government,  the  Committee,  and  yourself.  I  was  favoured 
with  my  first  separate  audience  at  8  o^clock  this  morning.  I  first 
impressed  from  the  dispatches  of  the  Committee,  every  motive  and 
sentiment  that  was  convicting  or  imposing ;  urging  your  waving 
the  hostages  and  escort,  as  the  demonstration  of  your  confidence 
in  the  King's  honour  and  friendship  ;  and  insinuating  that  the 
establishment  of  a  school  at  Cape  Coast,  was  solely  in  anticipation 
of  the  King's  committing  some  of  his  children  to  your  care  for 
education,  as  the  foundation  of  the  pre-eminence  of  Europeans.  I 
then  passed  to  your  instructions,  rendering  them  in  a  manner  as 
persuasive  and  auspicious  as  possible ;  associating  in  favour  of  the 
Residency,  the  commanding  motive  of  facilitating  political  interests, 
with  the  imposing  one  of  securing  justice  to  the  Ashantee  traders. 
Lastly,  I  introduced  the  Treaty,  as  a  pledge  from  the  King  to  give 
force  to  your  application  to  the  Government  at  home,  for  the 
increase  of  his  pay ;  for,  as  he  continued  to  dwell  on  the  grant  of 
4  ounces  from  Elmina,  I  availed  myself  of  this  liberty  of  my 
instructions,  to  divert  the  impression,  and  to  propitiate  his  ratifi- 
cation of  the  Treaty.  I  considered  the  pretence  of  your  being 
obliged  to  address  the  British  Government  on  the  subject,  as 
preservative  of  the  opportunity  of  judging  of  the  sincerity  of  his 
professions,  and  of  the  duration  of  the  union. 

I  think  I  may  pledge  myself  for  three  great  pillars  of  our  com- 
-mercial  intercourse,  by  the  accomplishment  of  the  Residency,  the 
Education,  and  the  Treaty. 

I  reconcile  myself  to  fresh  difficulties  by  the  reflection  that  they 
are  inseparable  from  all  great  political  views  ;  and  that  without 
them,  I  should  be  deprived  of  the  satisiaction  of  proving  myself, 
in  a  small  degree,  worthy  this  confidence  and  distinction,  by 
patience  and  perseverance.     A  letter  accompanies  this,  written  in 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  85 

the  King's  presence,  on  the  subject  of  the  Commenda  palaver, 
which  wears  so  decided  an  aspect,  that  whilst  I  pledge  all  my 
energy  and  address,  and  look  with  hope  to  the  aid  of  your  sug- 
gestions, I  must  candidly  confess,  I  do  not  think  it  can  be  com- 
pounded in  any  thing  like  a  reasonable  way.  I  appealed  to  the 
King's  magnanimity,  and  depicted  the  poverty  of  the  Commendas, 
but  every  appeal  and  every  argument  was  ineffectual ;  their 
aggravated  offences  admit  of  no  amelioration  of  the  King's  feelings. 
I  depreciated  the  plea  of  General  Daendels'  repeated  messages, 
by  submitting  that  they  were  addressed  to  the  Town,  and  not  to 
the  Fort,  and  I  succeeded  in  retiring  him  from  the  negociation,  as 
an  interference  inconsistent  with  your  dignity,  and  the  present 
good  understanding. 

I  did  not  discourage  the  King's  great  anxiety  for  clothes  of  the 
English  costume,  considering  that  his  example  would  be  more 
auspicious  than  any  thing  else,  to  the  introduction  of  these  manu- 
factures. I  have  distributed  the  muslins,  &c.  as  politically  as 
possible,  including  with  the  Moors  of  repute,  the  aristocracy,  or 
four  captains  controuling  the  King,  his  four  linguists,  his  brother 
and  successor,  our  housemaster,  and  some  other  captains  of  supe- 
rior influence.  I  made  a  point  of  conciliating  a  Moor  of  influence, 
about  to  return  through  Sallagha  or  Sarem  (the  capital  of  the 
Inta  country,  and  the  grand  emporium  of  the  merchandize  of  the 
interior)  to  Houssa,  feeling  the  policy  of  communicating  every 
favourable  impression  to  the  neighbouring  kingdoms.  In  my 
second  interview  I  obtained  permission  from  the  King  to  dismiss 
the  remaining  Fantees.  It  was  one  of  the  first  considerations,  for 
the  sake  of  our  dignity,  to  avoid  the  humiliating  circumstances  and 
impressions,  which  have  ensued  from  the  want  of  foresight,  and 
the  consequent  inabihty  to  meet  the  demands  of  our  people.  ' 
Their  conduct  since  has  been  so  mutinous  and  insulting,  with  the 


86  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

exception  of  six,  that  to  preserve  the  impression  of  the  firmness  of 
an  Enghsh  officer,  I  secured  one  who  encouraged  tlie  others,  by 
persisting  in  some  insulting  indecencies,  in  contempt  of  my  remon- 
strances, and  ordered  him  to  be  punished. 

The  others  (with  the  above  exception)  having  refused  in  a  body, 
aggravating  their  disobedience  with  the  grossest  insolence,  to  go 
with  a  cane  to  Payntree,  and  bring  the  biscuit  which  had  been 
deserted  there  ;  I  have  disclaimed  them,  and  left  them  to  act  for 
themselves,  only  securing  them  the  King's  permission  to  depart. 

I  shall  request  the  King  to  furnish  me  with  his  own  people,  on 
the  conclusion  of  the  business  of  the  Embassy.  Such  an  arrange- 
ment favours  ceconomy,  and  impresses  the  confidence  I  afl'ect. 

The  frequent  presents  had  enabled  me  to  present  the  Fantees 
with  large  supplies  of  plantains  and  hogs ;  and  on  paying  them 
their  arrears,  which  I  did  the  same  evening  I  received  your  gold, 
I  gave  them  a  bullock  which  fell  to  my  share  in  a  division  with 
Mr.  James. 

You  will  see  by  the  balance  of  the  annexed  account,  that  (pre- 
serving our  dignity)  every  expense  should  be  avoided  that  can  he'> 
and  I  assure  you,  that  in  making  the  present  arrangement  for 
bearers  for  our  baggage  only,  I  do  not  disregard  your  solicitude  for 
our  health.  I  shall  order  one  Cape  Coast  messenger  to  attend  Mr. 
James,  and  also  the  bearers  left  behind,  being  sufficiently  recovered. 

The  statistical  and  scientific  desiderata  so  impressively  recom- 
mended to  my  attention,  are  daily  realising  beyond  my  expecta- 
tions. Mr.  Tedlie  has  had  a  severe  attack  of  fever  and  dysentery, 
but  is  convalescent :  Mr.  Hutchison   and  myself  are   in  perfect 

health. 

I  am,  with  respect.  Sir, 

Your  most  obedient  Servant, 

T.  E.  BOWDICH. 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  87 

Sai  Tootoo  Quamixa,  King  of  Ashantee  and  its  Dependencies,  to 

John  Hope  ISmitii,   Esquire,  Governor  in  Chief  of  the  British 

Settlements  on  the  Geld  Coast  of  Africa. 
The   Commenda   palaver  now   rests  with  you  and  the  King  of 
Ashantee  only,  the  Dutch  Governor  has  no  more  to  do  with  it,  so 
the  King  recals  the  captain  sent   to  him,   and  sends  a   proper 
messenger  to  treat  with  you  individually. 

The  conduct  and  messages  of  the  Commendas  have  been  so 
irritating  and  insolent  to  the  King,  that  nothing  but  believing  you 
to  be  his  good  friend,  could  induce  him  to  treat  at  all  with  them, 
or  do  any  thing  but  kill  them  ;  but  for  your  sake,  he  will  settle  the 
palaver,  and  you  must  help  him  proj)erly. 

The  King  wants  to  begin  the  union  without  any  palaver  remain- 
ing, and  as  this  Commenda  palaver  is  the  only  one,  it  must  be 
settled,  and  if  you  do  this,  he  will  take  care  the  Elminas  shall  not 
do  wrong  to  the  Fan  tees,  but  he  will  help  you  in  all  your  palavers. 

The  Elminas  are  always  sending  him  messages  about  the  insult- 
ing conduct  and  expressions  of  the  Commendas  towards  him,  and 
this  is  very  vexatious  to  him,  so  he  wishes  to  put  an  end  to  it  with 
your  help. 

Adoo  Bradie,  his  favorite  nephew,  the  son  of  the  former  King 
Sai  Quamina,  is  sent  with  a  proper  captain,  Quantree,  to  help  you 
settle  the  palaver. 

Two  thousand  ounces  is  the  demand. 

The  origin  of  the  palaver  is,  that  after  the  King  returned  from 
his  own  campaign  against  the  Fantees,  the  Commendas  went  to  the 
Elminas  and  said,  "  well,  you  help'd  the  King,  and  now  he  is  gone 
back  we  will  fight  for  it." 

Again,  when  a  war  was  about  to  take  place  between  the  Cape 
Coast  people  and  the  Elminas,  the  Commendas  went  to  the  latter 
and  said,  well,  Ave  will  help  you  if  you  will  give  us  plenty  of 


88  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

powder  to  fight  for  you :  they  did  so,  and  immediately  the  Com- 
mendas  used  it  to  seize  98  Elminas,  and  sold  them  as  slaves — this 
the  King  thinks  you  will  say  is  very  bad. 

The  Cape  Coast  people  and  the  Fantees  having  joined  against 
the  Elminas,  they  sent  to  tell  the  King,  stating,  when  he  demanded 
the  reason,  that  it  was  because  they  had  not  resisted  him  when  he 
came  down  against  the  Fantees;  adding,  that  the  Commendas, 
who  were  their  natural  allies  before,  had  now  joined  their  enemies, 
and  begging  the  King  to  revenge  this  act  of  perfidy.  The  King 
much  angered,  immediately  sent  a  captain  for  the  purpose  of  their 
destruction  (Yaquokroko,)  but  the  Dutch  governor  sent  to  him, 
and  then  sent  to  the  King  to  beg  him  to  stop,  because  the  English 
and  Dutch  being  one,  it  would  put  shame  on  his  face. 

Col.  Torrane  by  giving  up  Cheeboo,  induced  the  King  to  con- 
sider the  Cape  Coast  people  as  his  friends,  and  they  took  fetish 
accordingly,  but  their  joining  the  Fantees  afterwards  to  fight 
against  Elmina  for  assisting  the  King,  has  made  him  distrust 
them  always  since. 

He  considers  his  favourite  nephew  as  the  adopted  son  of  Col. 
Torrane,  to  whom  he  gave  him,  and  the  Colonel  gave  him  English 
clothes,  so  he  is  all  the  same  as  a  Cape  Coast  Boy. 

Col.  Torrane  being  dead,  he  considers  his  nephew  to  stand  in 
the  same  relation  to  you,  and  that  he  is  therefore  the  proper 
messenger  to  send  to  you  about  this  palaver. 

You  must  Avrite  in  your  great  book,  that  the  King  is  your  good 
friend,  that  he  likes  you  too  much,  that  he  thanks  God  very  much, 
so  that  every  future  Governor  may  read  that  in  the  Cape  Coast 
Books. 

The  mark  X  of  Sai  Tootoo,  King  of  Ashantee, 

Present.  Per  T.  E.  Bqwdich. 

Wm.  Hutchison. 
Henry  Tedlie. 
Coomassie,  July  9th,  1817. 


MfSSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  89 

Coomassie,  July  \2th,  1817- 

John  Hope  Smith,  Esquire,  Governor  in  Chief,  &c.  &c. 

Sir, 
I  AM  just  returned  from  reading  your  letter  to  the  King,  and 
extracts  from  that  to  myself,  before  the  assembly  of  the  captains : 
the  effect  was  satisfactory ;  and  Quamina  Bootaqua  is  ordered  up 
to  answer  for  his  conduct.  The  King  enquired  if  the  pay  now  due 
on  the  two  notes  would  be  liquidated  on  application ;  I  repUed, 
immediately  ;  he  is  anxious  for  it,  on  account  of  the  approaching 
yam  custom. 

I  am,  &c. 
(Signed)  T.  EDWARD  BOWDICH. 


I  will  not  continue  to  copy  the  rude  diary  before  submitted,  it  is 
only  a  register  of  dull  or  disgusting  circumstances,  illnesses,  human 
sacrifices,  and  ceremonious  visits.  I  would  not  anticipate  the 
better  arrangement  of  my  reports,  or  break  the  thread  of  the  cor- 
respondence on  the  political  difficulties  opposed  to  the  Mission.  I 
will  abridge  some  passages  of  my  diary,  merely  to  give  an  idea  of 
the  nature  of  our  conversations,  ana  the  biography  of  the  leading 
men.  Mr.  Hutchison  has  sent  me  copious  extracts  from  his  diary, 
as  Resident,  his  leisure  and  tranquillity  having  afforded  him  better 
opportunities  of  social  intercourse  and  domestic  observation,  than 
I  had,  or  could  afford  time  to  cultivate,  without  neglecting  my 
reports.  I  shall  adjoin  these  extracts,  e.vpecting  they  will  contribute 
to  the  rational  entertainment  of  the  public,  and  to  the  credit  of  an 
active  and  intelligent  officer. 

A  captain  called  Asofoo,  sent  us  a  present  of  seven  ackies  of 

N 


90  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

gold,  and  we  also  received  twelve  from  Amanquate'a,  and  three 
from  our  house  master.  On  the  9th  of  July  the  King  sent  us  ten 
ackies  of  gold,  and  repeated  his  satisfaction  of  the  result  of  the  late 
correspondence,  and  daily  presents  of  meat  and  fruits  from  various 
quarters,  evinced  the  better  opinion  of  his  chiefs. 

I  paid  my  first  private  visit  to  Baba  the  chief  Moor,  and  took 
some  pens,  paper,  ink,  and  pencils  with  me  as  a  present ;  the  paper 
and  pencils  were  much  esteemed,  but  he  preferred  his  reed  and 
vegetable  ink.  He  received  me  courteously,  and  was  contemplat- 
ing a  curiously  intricate  figure  like  a  horoscope ;  the  ms.  was  filled 
with  them  ;  he  laid  his  finger  on  it,  and  said,  if  you  have  any  hard 
palaver,  this  can  make  me  settle  it  for  you  when  no  other  person 
can ;  or  if  you  have  any  dear  friend  in  England  you  wish  to  see, 
tell  me  the  name,  and  this  shall  bring  him  to  you.  I  thanked  him, 
observing,  that  when  Englishmen  knew  their  palaver  was  right, 
they  always  left  it  to  God,  and  that  England  was  too  good  a  place 
for  me  to  wish  any  one  I  regarded  to  leave  it.  His  disciples  and 
pupils  were  writing  on  wooden  boards,  like  those  Mr.  Park  de- 
scribes. When  a  charm  Avas  applied  for,  one  of  the  oldest  wrote 
the  body  of  it,  and  gave  it  to  Baba,  who  added  a  sort  of  cabalistical 
mark,  and  gave  it  a  mysterious  fold  ;  the  credulous  native  snatched 
it  eagerly  as  it  Avas  held  out  to  him,  paid  the  gold,  and  hurried 
away  to  enclose  it  in  the  richest  case  he  could  afford.  I  had  a 
long  conversation  Avith  Baba,  and  he  begged  me  to  visit  him  fre- 
quently ;  he  Avas  much  gratified  Avith  the  specimens  of  African 
Arabic  at  the  end  of  Mr.  Jackson's  Avork,  and  read  them  fluently. 
I  visited  him  the  next  day,  Avhen  he  sent  hastily  for  a  Moor,  Avho 
he  told  me  Avas  very  learned,  and  just  come  from  Timbuctoo. 
This  man  expressing  no  surprise  Avhen  he  first  saAv  me,  Baba 
explained  it,  by  telling  me,  spontaneously,  that  this  Moor  had  seen 
three  white  men  before,  at  Boussa.     I  eagerly  enquired  the  parti- 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  91 

culars  of  the  novelty,  and  they  were  again  repeated  to  Baba,  and 
were  thus  interpreted :  "  that  some  years  ago,  a  vessel  with  masts, 
suddenly  appeared  on  the  QuoUa  or  Niger  near  Boussa,  with  three 
white  men,  and  some  black.  The  natives  encouraged  by  these 
strange  men,  took  off  provisions  for  sale,  were  well  paid  and  re- 
ceived presents  besides:  it  seems  the  vessel  had  anchored.  The 
next  day,  perceiving  the  vessel  going  on,  the  natives  hurried  after 
her,  (the  Moor  protested  from  their  anxiety  to  save  her  from  some 
sunken  rocks,  with  which  the  Quolla  abounds)  but  the  white  men 
mistaking,  and  thinking  they  pursued  for  a  bad  purpose,  deterred 
them.  The  vessel  soon  after  struck,  the  men  jumped  into  the  water 
and  tried  to  swim,  but  could  not,  for  the  current,  and  were 
drowned.  He  thought  some  of  their  clothes  were  now  at  Wauwaw, 
but  he  did  not  believe  there  were  any  books  or  papers/^  This 
spontaneous  narrative,  so  artlessly  told,  made  a  powerful  impres- 
sion on  my  mind.  I  saw  the  man  frequently  afterwards,  his 
manners  were  very  mild,  and  he  never  asked  me  for  the  most 
trifling  present.  He  drew  me  a  chart  before  he  went  away,  and  1 
dispatched  some  certificates  for  Major  Peddie  by  him,  endorsed 
with  Baba's  recommendations.  I  heard  exactly  the  same  thing 
afterwards  from  another  Moor,  but  he  had  not  been  an  eye  wit- 
ness. I  begged  Mr.  Hutchison,  when  I  left  Coomassie,  to  note 
any  other  report  on  the  subject  of  Mr.  Park's  death,  and  he  after- 
Avards  sent  me  the  ms.  a  translation  of  which  is  in  the  appendix. 
I  continued  to  call  on  Baba  three  or  four  times  a  week ;  these 
visits  afforded  much  information,  for  at  each  I  found  strange  Moors 
just  arrived  from  different  parts  of  the  interior,  sojourning  with 
him.  They  always  affected  to  deplore  the  ignorance  of  the  Ashan- 
tees,  and  presumed  it  must  b#  as  irksome  to  me  as  to  them.  Baba 
telling  one  that  I  could  speak  different  languages,  he  said  that  he 
would  try  me,  and  addressed  me  in  several,  all  very  uncouth  to  my  ear. 


92  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

and  their  names  even  unintelligible,  except  one,  which  he  called 
Hindee  or  Hindoo;  neither  had  I  heard  of  any  of  the  great  cities 
he  enumerated,  until  at  last  he  pronounced  Room  (Rome)  and 
said,  if  I  did  not  know  that  I  was  not  a  Christian.  I  never  saw  the 
Shereef  Brahima  (to  whom  I  was  introduced  about  this  time  by  a 
Jenne  Moor)  at  Baba's,  they  did  not  appear  to  be  on  terms ;  I 
think  the  latter  was  envious  of  the  greater  learning  and  intelligence 
of  the  former,  who  had  been  to  Mecca  and  Medina.  One  day  I 
requested  Baba  to  draw  me  a  map  of  the  world,  he  did  so,  encir- 
cling one  large  continent  Avith  a  sea,  bounded  by  a  girdle  of  rocks. 
Old  Odumata's  notion  of  geography  was  as  strange ;  for  he  men- 
tioned one  day,  that  when  on  the  coast  above  Apollonia,  he  had  an 
idea  of  walking  to  England,  for  he  was  toid  he  should  reach 
Santonee  (Portugal)  in  30  days,  and  that  after  that,  the  path  was 
very  good.  He  greatly  enjoyed  our  singeing  the  hair  of  a  foppish 
attendant  of  his,  with  a  burning  glass ;  the  man's  amazement  was 
inconceivable,  Mr.  Hutchison  was  at  some  distance,  and  not 
suspected. 

We  were  now  permitted  to  walk  four  or  five  miles  beyond  the 
city,  and  felt  quite  at  home.  We  seldom  went  out  in  the  morning, 
lest  an  occasion  for  an  audience  should  occur.  Apokoo  and 
several  other  daily  visitors  diverted  us  with  their  anecdotes,  and  in 
the  afternoon  we  made  our  round  of  calls.  Apokoo  was  always 
facetious,  and  looked  with  much  anxiety  for  our  entry,  as  his 
greatest  recreation  ;  he  was  very  desirous  of  learning  tennis  and 
sparring,  and  daily  made  some  essays,  so  comical,  that  neither  we 
nor  his  attendants  could  contain  ourselves.  Apokoo  became  very 
communicative  of  Ashantee  politics,  and  asked  innumerable  ques- 
tions about  England ;  particularly,  why  the  King  of  England  did 
not  send  one  of  his  own  sons  to  the  King  of  Ashantee,  with  the 
presents,  and  why  so  great  a  King  sent  such  a  small  force  to  Africa. 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  93 

The  Spanish  campaign  was  gone  through,  again  and  again,  and 
never  tired  him.  He  gave  us  an  excellent  dinner,,  as  did  Odumata 
repeatedly.  Both  were  extravagantly  enraptured  with  the  miniature 
of  an  English  female,  and  called  all  their  wives  to  look  at  it. 

Having  been  advised  by  a  note  from  the  Governor,  of  the 
arrival  of  an  Ashantee  boy  and  girl  at  Cape  Coast  Castle,  sent  by 
the  King  Avithout  any  explanation,  I  desired  an  audience  on  the 
subject,  and  forwarded  the  following  letter,  which  also  communi- 
cates the  baseness  of  one  of  the  King's  messengers,  just  returned 
from  the  Coast,  and  other  inauspicious  circumstances. 


Coomassie,  \Qith  Aug.  1817- 

John  Hope  Smith,  Esq.  Governor  in  Chief,  &c.  &c.  &c. 

Sir, 
The  King  has  explained  to  me  that  he  sent  the  boy  and  girl  you 
mention  to  have  arrived  at  Cape  Coast,  to  become  the  property  of 
the  Committee  or  Government,  conceiving  it  to  be  obhgatory  on 
him,  in  justification  of  his  possession  of  the  notes,  to  allow  an 
Ashantee  family  to  rear  itself  under  the  Governor's  protection,  for 
the  service  of  the  Settlement,  and  as  an  acknowledgment  of  the 
duties  he  owes  it.  He  begs  me  to  observe  that  he  put  the  same 
plates  of  gold  around  their  necks  which  distinguish  the  royal 
attendants. 

1  had  reason  to  believe,  from  a  coolness  and  some  invidious 
comparisons  on  the  part  of  the  King,  that  the  messenger  lately 
arrived,  Ocianameah,  who  was  so  particularly  recommended  to 
your  favour,  had  been  unjust  in  his  report  of  the  treatment  he  had 
experienced.  I  did  not  hesitate  to  avow  my  impression  to  the 
King,  having  solicited  an  audience  for  the  purpose.     The  King 


94  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

confessed  he  had  felt  his  private  feehngs  hurt  ever  since  the  return 
of  that  messenger,  having  received  his  assurance,  that  you  would 
scarcely  admit  him  to  your  presence ;  that  he  received  no  present 
or  compliment  from  you,  and  was  wholly  neglected  during  his 
stay  at  head  quarters.    I  instantly  pledged  my  honour  to  the  King 
that  Ocranameah  (who  was  present)  was  guilty  of  falsehood  and 
ingratitude,  adding,  that  I  was  not  prepared  to  confront  him  with 
the  particulars   of  the  presents   he  received    from  you  and   the 
officers  ;  though  I  was  positive,  from  private  letters,  as  well  as  my 
own  conviction,  that  you  had  not  slighted  the  opportunity  of  evinc- 
ing your  private  friendship  for  the  King  ;  and  as  I  might  possibly 
identify  some  trifle,  I  wished  the  King  to  allow  a  search  to  be 
made.     On  the  messenger's  box  being  sent  for  and  opened,  two 
engravings  appeared,  to  the  surprise  of  the  King,  and  which  I 
recognised  ;  but  as  the  messenger  still  persists  in  your  entire  neglect 
of  him,  and  of  his  not  having  received  any  present  or  compliment 
worth  mentioning,  I  must  trouble  you  for  the  particulars  of  his 
treatment  at  Cape  Coast  Castle,  for  the  entire  conviction  of  the 
King.     The  King  expressed  his  suspicion  (founded  on  reports) 
that  many  Ashantees  imposed  on  your  generosity,  by  introducing 
themselves  as  attached  to  him  in  various  capacities  ;  and  hoped 
that  you  would  only  listen  in  future  to  such  as  he  recommended  to 
your  notice  by  letter,  which  his  three  messengers  above  had  been  ; 
the  second  (Ocranameah)  the  more  particularly,  and  that  recollec- 
tion had  made  him  so  sensible  of  the  nealect.     You  will   resret, 
with   myself,  that  this  inauspicious    circumstance  has   been  un- 
voidable. 

The  recent  intelligence  respecting  the  Buntooko  war, has  imposed 
serious  anxiety,  in  the  place  of  the  King's  former  confidence.  The 
revolt  of  that  people,  as  may  be  expected  in  all  revolts  from  arbi- 
trary controul,  has  gradually  induced  the  secessions  of  some  other 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  §S 

tributaries ;  and  the  King  feels  called  upon  by  these  unexpected 
difficulties,  to  conduct  the  war  in  person  ;  not  with  his  former 
expectation  of  witnessing  their  rapid  subjugation,  but  from  his 
present  conviction  of  the  necessity  for  every  stimulus  and  energy. 
His  precaution  has  dictated  some  popular  acts,  ameliorating  the 
condition  of  the  lower  order  of  his  subjects.  The  confidential 
ministers  have  been  instructed  to  hint  to  me,  that  it  Avould  be 
indiscreet  in  the  King  to  expose  even  his  temporary  reverses  in  an 
arduous  war,  by  the  residence  of  a  British  officer;  and  that  he 
would  most  probably  defer  that  part  of  the  mutual  wish,  until  the 
contest  was  terminated.  I  used  the  same  medium  to  impress  upon 
the  King,  that  such  a  feeling  towards  the  delegate  of  a  friendly 
power  was  misplaced  ;  that  you  had  expedited  his  ex-parte  views 
in  the  confidence  of  his  consummation  of  the  reciprocal  objects  of 
the  Mission,  without  which  (as  they  had  been  instituted  for  his 
benefit  and  aggrandisement)  I  could  not  think  of  returning  ;  since 
a  protraction  would  be  construed  into  a  slight  of  the  friendly 
overtures  of  the  British  Government,  which  (from  its  dignity  and 
pre-eminence  in  Europe)  could  not  be  vouchsafed  whenever  they 
might  be  solicited. 

1  anxiously  await  your  communications  on  the  Commenda 
palaver,  to  further  my  exertions  for  the  full  accomplishment  of  the 
Mission.  The  King  and  his  Council  labour  under  so  much  anxiety 
and  business  at  the  present  moment,  that  though  we  pay  and 
receive  visits  of  ceremony,  it  is  almost  impossible  to  effect  an 
audience,  but  on  the  receipt  of  dispatches. 

I  am,  tScc.  &c. 

T.  EDWARD  BOWDICH. 


96  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

The  most  entertaining  delassement  of  our  conversations  with  the 
chiefs,  was,  to  introduce  the  liberty  of  English  females ;  whom  we 
represented,  not  only  to  possess  the  advantage  of  enjoying  the 
sole  affection  of  a  husband,  but  the  more  enviable  privilege  of 
choosing  that  husband  for  herself.  The  effect  was  truly  comic,  the 
women  sidled  up  to  wipe  the  dust  from  our  shoes  with  their  cloths, 
and  at  the  end  of  every  sentence  brushed  oft  an  insect,  or  picked 
a  burr  from  our  trowsers  ;  the  husbands  suppressing  their  dislike 
in  a  laugh,  would  put  their  hands  before  our  mouths,  declaring 
they  did  not  want  to  hear  that  palaver  any  more,  abruptly  change 
the  subject  to  war,  and  order  the  women  to  the  harem. 

One  of  the  King's  linguists  was  a  very  old  man,  called  Quancum; 
he  spoke  but  seldom,  3^et  the  greatest  deference  Avas  paid  to  his 
opinion ;  the  King  appeared  to  consult  him  more  than  any  otlier. 
I  was  so  much  interested  by  this  man's  deportment,  that  I  enquired 
his  history.  He  had  been  the  linguist  of  two  former  Kings,  who 
paid  frequent,  and  large  sums  of  gold,  as  damages  for  his  intrigues; 
neither  had  age  corrected  his  fault,  until  very  lately,  though  the 
present  King  used  the  most  friendl}-  remonstrances  ;  and  urged, 
that  from  his  paying  large  sums  so  frequently  for  him  on  this 
account,  his  subjects  thought,  that  he  countenanced  the  depravity. 
Quancum  confessed  to  the  King,  that  his  ardour  for  women  was 
perpetuated  by  the  sensual  devices  of  one  of  his  wives.  Soon 
afterwards,  he  was  detected  in  an  intrigue  with  the  wife  of  a 
captain  of  great  consequence,  and  the  King  refused  to  interfere. 
The  captain  declaring  that  the  punishment  of  Quancum,  and  not 
gold,  was  his  object,  the  King  permitted  him  to  be  despoiled  of 
all  his  property,  even  to  his  bed.  The  favourite  wife  was  amongst 
the  spoil,  and  the  injured  captain  being  much  smitten  with  her, 
assured  her  of  an  indulgence  and  preference,  even  greater  than  that 
she  had  enjoyed  with  Quancum  ;  she  replied,  she  must  always  hate 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  97 

him,  and  intreated  to  be  sold.  After  much  importunity  the  captain 
agreed  to  do  so,  provided  she  would  put  him  in  possession  of  all 
the  presents  Quancum  had  lavished  on  her;  she  produced  them, 
stipulating,  that  her  son  might  retain  a  small  sum  of  gold,  which 
Quancum  had  lately  presented  to  him  ;  this  Avas  agreed  to,  and  she 
was  immediately  sold  to  a  distant  caboceer ;  but  her  son  followed 
her,  and  buying  her  with  his  little  property,  presented  her  again  to 
his  father.  On  this,  the  King  gave  Quancum  a  house,  and  some 
furniture,  and  takes  care  to  continue  small  supplies  of  gold  daily, 
adequate  to  his  and  this  woman's  comfort ;  having  exacted  a 
solemn  oath  from  him,  that  he  would  devote  himself  to  this  one 
wife,  and  never  try  to  recover  any  of  the  others. 

Mr.  Tedlie's  interesting  interview  with  the  King,  when  he  desired 
his  attendance  to  exhibit  and  explain  his  surgical  instruments,  and 
medicines,  is  best  described  in  his  own  words. 

"  The  King  sent  for  me  this  morning,  saying  he  wished  to  see 
the  medicines,  books,  and  instruments.  I  went  immediately,  and 
explained  through  Quashie,  the  Accra  linguist,  the  proper  use  and 
advantage  of  each  instrument:  he  was  very  particular  in  his 
enquiries,  and  asked  if  I  had  performed  the  operations  I  described  ; 
I  assured  him  that  I  had,  and  as  a  proof,  exhibited  a  piece  of  bone 
that  I  had  taken  out  of  an  Indian  black  man's  head  in  Ceylon,  who 
had  been  wounded,  and  who  lived.  The  King  held  up  his  hand  as  a 
mark  of  approbation,  and  all  his  attendants  were  astonished.  I 
applied  the  instruments  first  on  myself,  then  on  the  linguists,  after- 
wards on  the  King's  two  captains,  and  lastly  on  the  King  :  nothing 
could  exceed  the  King's  approbation.  He  then  desired  me  to 
shew  him  the  medicines ;  he  enquired  the  virtues  and  doses  of 
each,  what  time  in  the  day  they  should  be  taken,  and  whether  it 
was  proper  to  eat  or  drink  after  taking  them  ?  I  told  him :  he 
asked  if  I  would  sell  them?  I  said  no.     I  brought  these  medicines 

o 


98  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

for  the  officers ;  I  could  not  sell  them,  but  I  would  give  him  as 
much  as  I  could,  keeping  in  view  that  some  of  the  four  officers 
might  be  sick  ;  he  said  that  I  was  right,  but  he  could  not  help 
coveting  the  greater  part  of  the  medicines ;  he  viewed  them  all 
over  five  or  six  times,  and  asked  me  to  give  him  some  of  them. 
I  did  give  him  as  much  innocent  medicine  as  I  could  with  pro» 
priety  afford  ;  he  thanked  me  "  very  much."  I  then  shewed  him 
the  botanical  books ;  he  was  astonished,  held  up  his  hand  and 
exclaimed  hah  !  at  every  brilliant  or  high  coloured  plant  which  he 
saw.  All  his  attendants  were  closely  arranged  around  :  the  two 
captains  laid  hold  of  a  volume  each,  and  were  admiring  the 
flowers ;  when  either  of  them  ejaculated  an  admiration,  the  King 
would  seize  it,  and  ask  me  what  that  tree  was?  After  I  had  told 
him  the  use  of  them,  I  said  all  these  trees  grow  in  England;  and 
the  reason  the  English  write  all  these  in  a  book  is,  that  they  may 
know  which  is  a  good  tree,  and  which  is  bad.  He  expressed  the 
greatest  astonishment  at  the  flax  (linum),  oak  "  that  we  build  our 
ships  with,"  poppy  "  that  makes  a  man  sleep,"  and  the  sensitive 
plant  (mimosa),  which  he  pointed  out  and  described  himself. 
During  this  time  he  whispered  to  one  of  his  attendants,  who  went 
out,  and  returned  in  a  short  time  with  a  bit  of  cloth  containing  9 
ackies  of  gold ;  the  King  presented  it  to  me ;  I  accepted  it,  and 
returned  thanks.  He  then  asked  me  if  I  would  come  and  see  him 
at  any  time  he  sent  for  me  ;  1  assured  him  I  would  do  every  thing 
to  please  him,  consistent  with  my  duty.  lie  shook  hands  with  me 
and  went  into  his  house.  He  returned  in  a  short  time,  leading  his 
sister  by  the  hand,  in  a  manner  that  would  shame  many  beaux  ia 
Europe,  saying,  "  this  is  the  white  doctor  I  told  you  of;  go,  and 
take  his  hand ;  you  are  sick,  tell  him  your  complaint,  and  he  will 
do  you  good  :  the  lady  complied  with  his  request.  He  then  said 
"  give  me  that  gold  I  gave  you,  the  cloth  is  not  clean  ;  I  want  to 


MISSrON  TO  ASHANTEE,  99 

put  it  in  a  clean  cloth  for  you."  He  then  put  it  in  a  piece  of  rich 
silk,  and  after  he  returned  the  gold  he  said  "  I  like  you ;  I  hke 
all  the  English  very  much  ;  they  are  a  proper  people,  and  I  wish- 
to  drink  health  with  you/'  He  retired  to  his  own  apartment,  and 
returned  with  a  flask  of  gin,  and  two  servants  with  a  silver  vase 
and  water  and  glasses ;  he  helped  himself  and  me,  made  a  bow 
and  said  "  Sai  wishes  you  good  health."  I  returned  the  bow, 
saying,  I  wish  good  health  to  the  King,  and  hope  he  never  will 
require  any  of  my  medicine :  when  this  was  explained  to  him  he 
held  out  his  glass  to  me,  we  touched  and  drank.  He  then  took  my 
hand,  saying,  "  If  I  send  my  sister  to  you  will  you  talk  with  her?" 
I  assured  him  I  would  talk  with  and  advise  all  the  King's  friends 
whenever  he  wished.  After  I  gave  all  the  medicine  I  could  conve- 
niently part  with,  he  sent  for  a  small  Dutch  liqueur  case;  he  desired 
10  or  12  of  his  attendants,  and  his  eunuch,  to  keep  in  their  heads 
what  I  said  ;  and  requested  me  to  repeat  again  the  use  and  dose 
of  each  medicine  I  gave  him,  with  the  proper  time  and  method  of 
using  it.  I  did  so.  He  placed  his  hand  on  his  head  saying  "  Sai 
recollects  what  the  white  doctor  says;"  then  placing  the  medicines 
in  the  case  himself  said  "  that  good  for  my  head,  that  good  for 
my  belly,  that  good  for  my  stomach,"  &c.  One  of  the  King's 
sisters  sent  a  message  that  she  wanted  to  come  and  see  the  white 
gentlemen  ;  and  shortly  afterwards  arrived  with  her  stool  and 
retinue,  being  head  caboceer  of  a  large  town.  After  exchanging 
compliments,  she  complained  that  her  left  hand  pained  her  very 
much.  I  examined  it,  but  must  confess  I  could  not  see  any  thing 
the  matter  with  it ;  however  I  rubbed  a  little  liniment  on  her  hand, 
which  seemed  to  gratify  her ;  she  asked  if  I  would  come  and  see 
her  in  the  evening?  I  answered  yes.  Quamina,  our  Ashantee 
guide,  came  to  conduct  me :  he  said  I  must  dress,  put  on  my 
sword  and  hat,  as  this  woman  was  a  caboceer,  and  tlie  King's 


100  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

sister ;  he  would  carry  my  umbrella.  When  I  arrived  I  found  the 
princess  lying  on  a  mat  in  one  of  the  inner  apartments  of  the 
house  she  occupied ;  she  ordered  a  stool  for  me  ;  I  rubbed  some 
more  liniment  on  her  hand  ;  she  Avished  me  to  stop  and  drink  palm 
wine ;  this  I  declined,  alledging  the  English  did  not  like  palm  wine 
in  the  evening,  because  it  is  sour." 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  101 


CHAPTER    V. 


Proceedings  and  Incidents  until  the  Signing  of  the  Preliminaries  to  a 
General  Treats/. 

[The  Governor's  reply  to  my  communication  on  the  subject  of  the  Commenda 
palaver,  reached  me  on  the  27th  of  August.]  ; ,_-    Jr^.! , 

Cape  Coast  Castle,  August  II, '18\7- 

T.  E.  BowDicH,  Esq.  ,,jj,  r>n\i  mii 

Sir,  .■■"■'      ■■■'■ 

1  ENTERTAINED  a  Confident  hope  that  no  further  mention  would 
have  been  made  by  the  King  concerning  the  Commendas,  after  the 
receipt  of  my  letter,  and  I  am  sorry  that  he  should  allow  so  insig- 
nificant a  set  of  people  to  protract  in  the  least  the  settlement  of  our 
union.  As  it  is  my  particular  wish  to  remove  this  impediment,  I 
have  used  every  endeavour  to  bring  the  affair  to  a  conclusion,  and 
trust  the  King  will  not  suffer  it  to  be  invincible.  The  Commendas 
are  also  naturally  anxious  for  its  termination,  but  their  poverty  is 
so  great,  that  they  have  it  not  in  their  power  to  comply  with  his 
demand.  They  have  acknowledged  their  fealty  to  the  King,  and 
have  agreed  to  pay  the  sum  of  120  oz.  of  gold,  of  which,  messen- 
gers are  sent, by  his  nephew  to  enquire  whether  he  will  accept.  This, 
with  the  sum  they  have  been  unavoidably  obliged  to  promise  the 
principal  persons  deputed  to  negociate  this  business,  will  increase 
the  sum  to  at  least  150  oz.  The  many  proofs  the  King  has  had  of 
t 


102  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  .    "' 

my  friendly  intentions  towards  him,  and  the  consideration  of  the 
benefits  that  will  accrue  to  him  from  his  alHance  with  the  English, 
will,  I  hope,  induce  him  to  concede  to  the  terms  offered  by  the 
Commendas.  A  refusal  must  be  considered  as  an  avowal  of  his 
determined  resolution  not  to  conciliate  the  affair,  and  as  the  indi- 
gent circumstances  of  these  people,  make  it  utterly  impossible  for 
them  to  pay  a  larger  sum,  you  will,  should  he  persist  in  exacting 
more,  procure  his  permission  to  leave  the  country,  and  return  with 
the  other  officers  as  soon  as  you  can.  To  sacrifice  the  Mission, 
after  the  heavy  expences  which  have  been  incurred,  and  when  we 
are  induced  to  believe  that  every  other  object  is  propitiated  to  our 
utmost  expectations,  should  be  avoided  if  possit)le ;  but  if  he 
insists  on  a  larger  sum  being  levied  from  the  Commendas  than  has 
been  offered,  there  remains  no  other  alternative.  The  dignity  of 
the  flag  must  be  the  superior  consideration  to  all  others. 

The  King  has  no  need  to  doubt  in  the  least  the  sincerity  of  the 
Cape  Coast  people,  they  are  his  friends,  and  have  every  inclination 
to  continue  so ;  and  I  am  convinced  his  nephew  will,  on  his  return, 
confirm  this  report  to  him. 

I  will  make  known  to  the  Committee  his  request  for  a  crown  and 
clothes,  and  I  have  no  doubt  but  it  will  be  complied  with. 

I  am,  Sir, 
your  most  obedient  Servant, 

JOHN  HOPE  SMITH. 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  103 

Coomassie,  Aug.  29,  1817- 
John  Hope  Smith,  Esq.  Governor  in  Chief,  &c.  &c.  &c. 

Sir, 

I  HAVE  the  satisfaction  to  enclose  a  copy  of  the  Preliminaries  to 
the  general  Treaty,  as  signed  this  day  by  the  King  in  Council, 
adjusting  the  Commenda  palaver,  agreeably  to  your  letter  of  the 
nth,  which  did  not  reach  me  till  the  27th  instant. 

I  proceed  to  acquaint  you  with  the  transactions  of  the  interval. 

The  charge  of  a  political  Embassy,  in  a  part  of  the  world  where 
respect  and  security  are  founded  upon  the  opinion  imposed  b}'^  our 
conduct,  exacted  a  spirit  and  dignity,  which  might  have  been 
abated  in  insinuating  a  Mission  through  the  country  for  scientific 
purposes,  but  the  inviolability  of  which  was  inseparable  from  the 
improvement  and  safety  of  neighbouring  settlements.  Since  my 
last  dispatch,  I  have  been  obligated  to  resist  various  encroach- 
ments, of  which  I  shall  mention  two  or  three  to  justify  my  treatment 
of  them. 

The  death  of  Quamina  Bwa,  our  Ashantee  guide,  in  the  early 
part  of  the  last  week,  creating  an  idle,  but  popular  superstition 
that  he  had  been  killed  by  the  fetish  for  bringing  wiiite  men  to 
take  the  country  ;  I  was  applied  to  in  the  King's  name,  to  ameli- 
orate this  impression,  by  contributing  an  ounce  of  gold  towards 
the  custom  to  be  made  by  the  King  for  his  repose.  I  refused  on 
two  grounds ;  first,  that  Quamina  Bwa  had  himself  unjustly 
incensed  the  people  against  us,  by  panyaring*  their  provisions  in 
the  King's  name,  for  our  subsistence,  and  defrauding  them  of  the 
gold  we  gave  him  for  the  payment :  secondly,  that  the  rites  of 
customs  were  unnatural  to  our  religion,  which  bound  us,  at  least, 
not  to  encourage  them.    Fifteen  persons  had  been  sacrificed  the 

*  Seizing. 


104  iVlISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

week  before  (in  a  custom  for  the  mother  of  a  captain)  with  aggra- 
vated barbarit3\ 

Several  of  the  principal  men  having  applied  to  me  to  send  to 
Cape  Coast  for  silks,  to  be  paid  for  on  receipt  at  Coomassie  (a 
very  dangerous  and  impolitic  indulgence),  I  impressed,  indignantly, 
that  I  was  not  sent  as  a  trader  to  make  bargains  with  them,  but  as 
an  officer  to  talk  the  palavers  with  the  King. 

These  circumstances,  and  a  personal  chastisement  of  some 
insults  from  inferior  captains,  which  was  provoked  after  much 
patience,  influenced  ex  parte  representations,  which,  though  they 
may  not  have  sickened  the  King's  regard,  induced  hauteur  and 
neglect.  In  proceeding  to  the  King's  house  on  public  occasions, 
which  I  never  did  without  the  flag,  canes,  and  soldiers,  we  had 
been  expected  to  make  way  for  the  greater  retinues  of  superior 
captains,  who  would  rudely  have  enforced  it ;  and  after  sohciting 
audiences  for  two  days,  I  was  kept  in  waiting  above  an  hour  in 
the  outer  courts  of  the  palace.  On  the  last  occasion  of  the  latter 
treatment,  knowing  that  it  was  att'ected,  I  returned  to  our  quarters 
until  I  received  the  King's  invitation ;  representing  to  him,  that 
as  an  officer  dignified  by  an  authority  to  make  a  treaty  with  him 
in  the  name  of  the  British  Government,  I  could  not  submit  to 
disrespectful  treatment  at  the  Palace,  nor  allow  the  English  flag  to 
give  place  to  any  but  himself;  that,  if  it  merely  affected  myself  as 
an  individual,  my  esteem  for  the  King  would  induce  me  to  com- 
promise these  points  of  etiquette  with  his  captains  ;  but,  according 
to  the  custom  of  England,  I  dared  not ;  for  if  I  did,  my  sword 
would  be  taken  from  me  on  my  return  to  Cape  Coast  Castle.  It 
produced  the  desired  effect ;  the  gong  gong  proclaimed  in  every 
street  that  all  captains  must  make  way  for  the  flag  ;  and  at  the 
monthly  levee  of  the  captains  (the  Adai  custom)  the  King's  lin- 
guists were  deputed  to  us  first,  with  the  customary  present  of  a 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  105 

sheep  and  rum  ;  and  presented  us  the  first  to  pay  our  compUments 
to  the  King,  being  followed  by  Amanquate'a,  Quatchie  Quophi, 
Apokoo,  and  Odumata  ;  the  four  captains  composing  the  Privy 
Council,  or  Aristocracy,  which  checks  the  King.  The  first  (whose 
power  approximates  to  that  of  the  Mayor  of  the  Palace  under  the 
early  French  dynasty)  sent  his  linguist  and  gold  swords  to  com- 
pliment us  on  the  ground.  I  determined  to  take  advantage  of  this 
impression,  and  of  the  comparative  facility  of  intercourse,  and 
demanded  an  audience  to  discuss  the  treaty,  a  copy  of  which  I 
enclose,  and  hope  my  additions  will  be  satisfactory.  I  have  the 
King's  assurance  that  it  shall  be  formally  executed  in  eight  days  ; 
when  all  his  tributaries  will  be  present  for  the  yam  custom,  and 
when  I  hope  to  make  the  King  of  Dwabin  and  its  dependencies 
a  party,  whose  power  is  equal  to  the  King  of  Ashantee's. 

To  resume — the  audience  was  granted  ;  and  I  read  the  treaty 
before  the  King  and  his  Council,  submitting  it  article  by  article,  to 
iheir  consideration.  It  was  debated  the  whole  of  that  and  the 
succeeding  day.  I  considered  that  if  I  could  get  the  treaty 
discussed  and  executed  in  this  favourable  interval,  removing  the 
Commenda  palaver  from  the  situation  of  an  obstacle,  and  reserving 
it  as  the  first  proof  of  the  King's  disposition  to  coincide  with  you 
in  what  was  reasonable  and  just,  I  might,  on  the  receipt  of  dis- 
patches, gain  the  better  terms  for  that  people. 

On  Saturday  the  22d  instant,  I  was  summoned  to  declare  the 
articles  of  the  treaty  before  the  assembly  of  captains,  who  were 
seated  with  their  attendants  and  warriors  in  the  large  yard  of  the 
palace,  with  all  the  imposing  pomp  and  military  parade,  which 
had  before  been  collected  to  subdue  us,  in  the  scene  of  the  decla- 
ration of  war.  The  King's  sisters,  with  the  females  of  his  family, 
were  seated,  with  their  numerous  attendants,  on  an  elevated  floor 
behind.     The  deputies  from  the  Fanlee  towns  in  the  interior,  were 

p 


106  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

placed  within  hearing,  and  the  crowd  was  almost  impervious :  the 
most  ghastly  trophies  were  mixed  with  this  blaze  of  ostentation. 
We  were  seated  near  the  King  immediately  opposite  to  his 
linguists. 

In  reading  the  treaty,  I  paused  after  every  article,  leaving  it  to 
be  formally  repeated  to  the  King  through  his  linguists,  and  then 
sat  down  whilst  it  was  discussed  by  the  assembly.  It  is  not  neces- 
sary to  repeat  the  various  debates  ;  and  I  will  only  notice  that 
Amanquatea,  through  his  linguist,  proposed  the  renewal  of  the 
Slave  Trade  as  a  sine  qua  non  ;*  this,  however,  as  I  had  all  along 
declared  it  to  be  impossible,  was  at  length  over-ruled,  but  with 
considerable  difficulty.  It  was  also  proposed  to  attach  a  fine  to 
the  infraction  of  the  treaty  ;  but  this  I  resisted  as  derogatory  to  the 
dignity  of  the  contracting  parties  ;  and  urged,  that  as  the  King 
and  his  dignitaries  would  consider  his  oath  as  sacred,  as  you  and 
the  Government  would  mine,  I  considered  no  infraction  of  the 
treaty  could  take  place  ;  though  it  might  possibly  be  offended  by 
the  conduct  of  his  subjects,  or  of  individuals  under  British  pro- 
tection, which  was  provided  for,  and  must  be  visited  accordingly 
by  the  authorities  pledged  to  the  treaty. 

I  had  declared  from  the  first,  that  it  would  be  expected  that  the 
King  should  swear  in  the  form  of  his  country  to  the  fulfilment  and 
preservation  of  the  treaty,  and  that  his  oath  should  be  attested  by 
his  principal  captains,  from  my  anxiety  to  fortify  to  the  utmost,  a 

*  Presents  fi'om  two  Spanish  slave  ships  were  received  throiigli  the  Mulatto  Brue  on 
the  ICJth  instant ;  they  wei-e  general,  hut  I  can  only  pai'ticularise  the  following  : 

To  the  King,  3  pieces  of  cloth,  1  umbrella,  and  a  hat. 

To  the  chief  hnguist,  1  piece,  do.  2  flashes  hquor. 

To  the  4th  do.  (Otce)  1  do.  2  ditto,  do. 

To  Odumata,  2  do.  2  ditto,  do. 

To  Quamina  Bwa,  agent  for  the  purchase  of  the  slaves,  2  pieces  of  cloth,  1  umbrella, 
and  1  Dane  cun. 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  lOT 

measure  not  only  valuable  to  commerce  but  to  humanity,  in  avert- 
ing the  renewal  of  a  war,  recorded  by  indelible  marks  of  carnage 
and  devastation. 

At  the  moment  I  expected  the  King  to  execute  the  treaty,  a 
fresh  design  was  disclosed,  in  a  long  speech  from  the  chief  linguist, 
setting  forth  the  wrongs  the  King  had  just  received  from  the 
people  of  Amissa,  who  had  scourged  his  messengers,  and  couched 
their  insulting  defiance  in  the  foulest  language ;  yet,  he  said,  the 
King  did  not  want  to  invade  the  Fantee  country  for  the  sake  of 
one  town,  and  therefore  I  must  stay  and  assist  him  to  settle  that 
palaver ;  he  would  then  readily  swear  to  the  treaty.  I  replied  at 
length,  declaring  particularly  that  I  could  not,  and  would  not 
recognize  the  Amissa  palaver ;  that  the  King  vitiated  the  compli- 
ments he  had  been  pleased  to  pay  me,  in  expecting  me  to  be  such 
a  fool  as  to  involve  you  in  the  palaver  of  a  people,  over  whom  you 
neither  possessed  nor  desired  authority;  and  that  if  I  had  not  a 
right  to  think  better  of  the  King,  I  should  view  such  a  proposal  as 
evasive  of  the  treaty,  and  final  to  the  hope  of  a  thorough  under- 
standing. 

The  chief  linguist  rejoined,  that  I  had  declared  in  announcing 
the  treaty,  that  it  was  the  wish  of  the  British  Government  to  put  an 
end  to  war,  and  for  the  King  to  have  no  occasion  to  trouble  the 
Fanlees  ;  whereas,  if  the  people  of  Amissa  were  not  persuaded  to 
retract,  the  King  must  send  a  captain  to  destroy  them,  which  could 
be  done  at  a  word,  and  this  perhaps  would  make  another  war.  I 
urged  that  the  Fantee  towns  under  the  British  forts  must  be  con- 
sideretl  distinctly,  and  that  those,  and  those  only,  were  viewed  by 
the  Government  and  the  treaty ;  yet,  for  the  cause  of  humanity,  I 
would  request  you,  for  the  King,  to  advise  the  people  of  Amissa 
better,  through  some  medium,  which  1  hoped  might  do  good,  but 
if  disregarded,  you  could  not  even  repeat  it :  that  was  all  I  could 


108  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

promise,  and  if  that  was  not  enough,  our  nf^gociations  were  at  an 
end.  No !  that  was  not  enough,  I  must  stay  and  see  the  palaver 
settled . 

We  immediately  rose,  and  I  declared  as  impressively  as  I  could, 
that  as  the  officer  of  the  King  of  England,  your  orders  only  could 
be  obeyed  by  me,  that  I  dared  not  remain  or  allow  myself  to  be 
stopped,  even  if  I  should  be  killed  on  the  path,  for  my  life  was  not 
my  palaver,  but  the  King  of  England's.  As  I  bowed  to  retire,  the 
linguist  exclaimed,  that  the  King  promised  to  see  me  again  in  an 
hour. 

I  used  the  interval  for  reflection,  and  resolved  to  act  upon  the 
conclusion,  that  nothing  but  an  undaunted  resolution  could  cneck 
these  encroachments,  which  were  to  be  attributed  to  the  Govern- 
ment rather  than  to  the  King. 

The  hour  having  fully  expired,  I  sent  a  cane  to  Adoo^ee,  the 
chief  linguist,  to  desire  the  audience ;  he  sent  me  word  that  the 
King  was  asleep,  and  no  one  dared  to  awake  him.  I  then  went  to 
Odumata  (who  resides  within  the  palace)  and  rej)cated  to  him,  that 
I  was  determined  to  go,  it  the  King  did  not  keep  his  word  and  see 
me;  he  said  I  could  not;  I  rejoined,  I  would,  and  lelt  him.  1  then 
went  to  Adoocee's  house,  declared  the  same,  and  received  the 
same  reply.  I  left  a  cane  in  waiting  at  the  palace,  with  orders  to 
quit  and  return  to  me  at  4  o'clock,  (which  allowed  altogether  four 
hours  instead  of  one)  if  he  was  not  dispatched  with  a  message  in 
the  interval.  No  notice  was  taken ;  there  was  no  alternative  to 
my  making  good  what  I  had  said.  The  views  of  the  Mission  were 
at  risk,  but  they  would  have  been  too  dearly  purchased  by  such 
concessions,  and  I  was  sanguine,  rather  than  apprehensive  of  tiie 
success  of  the  measure  I  adopted ;  without  spirit  and  fortitude 
nothing  was  to  be  done. 

1  ordered  all  the  baggage  out,  planted  the  flag,  and  giving  the 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  109 

soldiers'  muskets  to  the  officers,  converted  them  and  the  artificers 
into  bearers,  as  well  as  our  own  servants,  for  1  saw  the  previous 
dismissal  of  my  own  people  was  considered  a  hold  on  me.  1 
ordered  the  linguists  to  declare  to  the  party  publickly,  that  I  would 
flog  any  man  who  attempted  to  leave  the  town  in  debt;  I  paid  all 
they  confessed,  by  advances  on  their  pay  to  the  amount  of  10  ackies : 
this  gave  the  greatest  publicity  to  our  movements. 

The  King's  uncl(>,  Bundaenha,  and  another  superior  captain 
came  in  form  to  entreat  me  to  stay,  whilst  they  affected  to  address 
the  King.  I  saw  through  this,  and  that  I  might  presume  on  it; 
holding  the  Avatch  in  my  hand,  I  promised  to  wait  half  an  hour, 
and  no  longer.  They  returned  within  the  time  to  conduct  me  to 
the  King,  but  after  lieing  kept  unusually  long  in  waiting,  the 
answer  to  my  remonstrance  through  the  linguists,  was,  that  the 
King  was  verv  busy  hearing  a  great  palaver  ;  I  saw  they  lingered 
still  ill  their  hope  of  my  submission.  I  sent  the  two  canes  to  tell 
the  King  that  mine  was  a  great  palaver,  and  ought  to  be  heard,  not 
only  from  its  importance,  but  because  he  had  passed  his  word  that 
it  should  ;  that  alter  a  King  disregarded  his  promise,  it  was  useless 
to  wait  any  longer.  Returning  to  our  quarters,  1  ordered  the  people 
to  load  the  baggage. 

At  ihe  moment  of  starting,  a  royal  messenger  ran  up,  to  say  the 
King  was  waiting  to  see  me.  1  dismissed  him  with  the  message, 
that  I  could  not  stop,  unless  a  person  of  consequence  was  sent  to 
promise  for  the  King.  The  King's  uncle  came,  and  assured  me  the 
King  would  receive  me  himself  at  the  entrance  of  the  palace.  We 
went,  and  were  instantly  ushered  into  the  presence  of  the  King  and 
his  captains,  who  were  debating  by  torch  light:  the  clamour  and 
deportment  of  this  assembly  might  have  been  subduing,  had  it 
been  novel.  The  uproar  having  abated,  the  King  demanded, 
through  his  linguist,  why  I  had  determined  to  leave  so  suddenly, 


114  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE, 

and  whether  he  had  not  behaved  well  to  me,  adding  to  much 
declamation,  that  he  knew  the  King  of  England  and  the  Governor 
wished  to  please  him,  and  would  not  countenance  the  act.  I 
replied,  that  "  I  had  not  only  gone  the  full  length  of  my  instructions 
to  please  the  King,  but  exceeded  them  ;  and  all  that  I  had  to  fear 
was,  that  you  would  not  approve  my  remaining  a  moment  after  he 
had  trifled  with  me.  The  King's  behaviour  to  me,  as  an  individual, 
I  should  always  be  proud  to  speak  of,  but  his  respect  of  the 
Embassy  was  a  very  superior  consideration.  Every  thing  he 
wished  had  been  done,  and  now  he  tried  to  impose  a  palaver  on 
me,  with  which  you  had  no  more  to  do  than  with  the  Buntooko 
war.  The  King  had  promised  me  to  settle  the  point  of  the  treaty, 
I  waited  the  discussion  patiently,  he  pledged  his  word  to  see  me 
that  evening,  he  had  avoided  it ;  I  had  said  I  would  wait  no  longer 
if  he  did  not  keep  his  word ;  no  English  officer  dared  to  break  his 
word,  if  he  did,  he  lost  his  SAvord."  Much  declamation  ensued, 
but  the  King's  conviction  silenced  the  assembly,  and  realized  the 
tiiumph  I  expected.  He  said,  what  I  told  him  was  true,  that  he 
was  very  sorry,  but  he  had  too  much  to  think  about ;  he  liked  the 
Law  (the  Treaty)  very  well,  but  begged  me  to  wait  a  little  longer 
till  all  his  captains  came.  I  received  his  promise  to  see  me  the 
following  day.  The  next  morning  the  head  linguist  came  in  form 
to  acquaint  nie  that  some  palavers  had  arrived  in  the  night,  which 
had  made  it  necessary  for  the  King  to  go  to  Berramang  (a  croom 
about  five  miles  to  the  N.  E.  on  the  road  to  Sallagha,  the  capital 
of  the  Inta  country)  but  he  had  orders  to  furnish  us  with  the  King's 
hammt)ck-men,  if  we  were  inclined  to  follow  him  the  next  day. 
We  did  so,  and  I  enclose  an  extract  from  my  diary,  with  the  cir- 
cumstances of  the  day,  as  they  do  not  affect  the  point  in  question : 
on  taking  leave  in  the  evening,  the  King  promised  that  I  shoul 
hear  from  him  the  next  day. 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  ill 

Apokoo,  who  had  been  left  in  charge  of  the  town,  visited  me  in 
form  by  the  King's  orders,  with  the  criers  and  insignia,  to  assure 
me  there  should  be  no  more  impediments  to  the  treaty,  and  that 
the  King  would  return  the  next  day.  The  evening  was  productive 
of  another  disturbance,  from  my  resistance  of  an  indignity.  The 
Cape  Coast  messenger  arriving,  informed  me  that  the  dispatches 
and  letters  were  retained  by  Adoo  Bradie's  messenger,  who  accom- 
panied him.  I  sent  the  canes  to  Apokoo's  to  demand  them,  but 
ineffectually  ;  I  then  went  myself,  and  insisted  on  the  delivery  ;  he 
said  it  could  not  be  allowed  until  the  King  returned  to  the  capital. 
I  protested  so  strongly  against  the  act,  that  he  sent  for  the  chief 
linguist  (Adoocee)  and  after  a  palaver,  they  promised  to  send  me 
the  letters  on  my  return  to  the  house  :  I  left  the  canes  in  waiting. 
The  time  allowed  having  expired  without  the  receipt,  I  went  again 
to  Apokoo's,  who  referred  me  to  Adoocee.  I  went  to  him,  and 
he  said  he  dared  not  interfere  in  the  business.  The  Cape  Coast 
messengers  refusing  to  do  so,  we  proceeded  instantly  to  Adoo 
Bradie's  house,  and  finding  the  messenger,  demanded  the  letters, 
and  obtained  them.  I  had  scarcely  read  them,  before  Adoocee 
came  with  some  captains,  and  about  100  persons,  (being  then 
9  o'clock)  to  demand  my  delivery  of  your  letter  to  his  charge, 
until  the  King's  return.  I  indignantly  refused,  asserting  my  au- 
thority, and  criminating  such  a  request  as  injurious  to  the  rights 
of  the  meanest  subject  of  the  King  of  England,  and  an  insuperable 
affront  to  you.  He  tried  threats  and  entreaties  alternately ;  the 
former  I  treated  with  contempt,  the  latter  I  regretted  1  dared  not 
yield  to.  The  palaver  was  prolonged  till  10  o'clock  at  night.  I 
determined  not  to  lose  ground.  The  King  did  not  amve  until  the 
evening  of  the  next  day,  I  sent  three  canes  with  my  compliments 
on  his  return,  and  received  his  with  an  appointment  of  an  audience 
the  next  (this)  morning. 

We  were  sent  for  early,  the  afliair  of  the  letters  was  opposed  to 


112  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

me.  I  repeated  my  declarations  to  Adoocee,  and  added,  that  I 
should  not  think  of  leaving  a  Resident,  if  such  were  the  forms  of 
the  Ashantee  Court.  The  Ashanlee  messengers  declared  that  you 
had  ordered  3'our  letters  to  be  delivered  to  the  King.  I  said  that 
was  impossible.  The  King  was  very  gentle,  but  such  was  the  sus- 
picion of  the  assembly,  that  they  requested  me  to  swear  on  my 
sword,  that  1  had  not  altered  any  part  of  your  letter;  I  did  so, 
prefacing  the  act  as  such  a  suspicion  merited.  I  then  read  your 
letter,  abating  nothing  of  its  spirit  and  firmness,  and  laying  stress 
upon  your  disposition  to  benefit  the  King,  and  the  proofs  you  had 
given.  I  concluded  my  illustrations  with  the  declaration,  that  you 
did  not  settle  the  King's  palaver  from  fear,  but  from  friendship,  as 
it  remained  with  him  to  prove.  I  submitted  tiie  preliminaries  in 
form,  for  rejection  or  acceptance.  After  an  ardent  debate  among 
the  captains,  they  were  executed  and  attested,  and  I  lose  no  time 
in  forwarding  the  copy.  I  left  a  duplicate  with  the  King,  as  I 
shall  of  the  treaty. 

The  King  intends  to  dispatch  a  messenger  directly  to  empower 
Adoo  Bradie  to  receive  the  gold,  and  hopes  you  will  recommend 
the  people  of  Commend  a  to  restore  any  of  the  slaves  in  their  pos- 
session belonging  to  Elmina,  although  that  is  not  his  palaver. 

The  King  desired  me  to  communicate  his  best  thanks  for  your 
handsome  treatment  of  his  nephew,  whose  reports  have  been  very 
flattering. 

I  urged  my  intercessions  for  Quamina  Bootaqua,  until  the  King 
vouchsafed  me  his  assurance  that  he  would  pardon  him. 

I  have  the  satisfaction  to  inform  you,  that  I  have  been  able, 
privatel}',  so  far  to  conciliate  the  Moors,  as  to  have  witnessed  their 
forwardance  of  the  certificates*  to  the  Interior,  with  their  own  letters 
of  recommendation  indorsed. 

*  For  a  copy  of  these  certificates  vide  the  opposite  engraving. 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  113 

I  advocated  the  merits  of  the  Castle  Hnguist,  De  Graff,  as  you 
desired,  and  successfully.  I  flatter  myself  this  will  anticipate  the 
arrival  of  the  King's,  and  the  Cape  Coast  messengers. 

I  am.  Sec.  &c. 

T.  E.  BOWDICH. 

Preliminaries  of  a  General  Treaty,  to  be  made  and  entered  into  by 
Thomas  Edward  Bowdich,  Esquire,  for  the  Governor  and 
Council  of  Cape  Coast  Castle,  and  on  the  part  of  the  British 
Government,  with  Sai  Tootoo  Quamina,  King  of  Ashantee  and 
its  Dependencies. 

1st.  The  King  accepts  the  offer  of  the  people  of  Commenda, 
through  the  Governor  in  Chief;  namely,  one  hundred  and  twenty 
ounces  of  gold  for  himself,  and  the  customary  fees  to  his  embas- 
sadors, as  a  settlement  in  full  of  all  demands. 

^nd.  The  people  of  Commenda  shall  acknowledge  their  fealty  to 
the  King,  and  be  entitled  to  all  the  benefits  of  his  protection. 

3d.  The  King  shall  authorize  some  responsible  captain  to 
receive  the  gold,  from  the  hands  of  the  deputies  of  the  people  of 
Commenda,  at  Cape  Coast  Castle. 

4th.  It  is  hereby  agreed,  that  every  palaver  is  now  settled  pre- 
paratory to  the  General  Treaty,  which  shall  be  executed  forthwith. 
Signed  and  sealed  this  twenty-ninth  day  of  August,  in  the  year 
of  our  Lord  one  thousand  eight  hundred  and  seventeen. 
The  mark  of  SAI  TOOTOO  QUAMINA.  X  (L.  S.) 

In  the  presence  of  T.  E.  BOWDICH.  (L.  S.) 

William  Hutchison. 

Henry  Tedlie. 

Adoocee,  Chief  Linguist. 

Apokoo,  Keeper  of  the  Treasurj^ 

Quamina  Quatchie,  K^       i^^^  ,^  the  Mission. 

Quashee  Apaintree,j        * 

Q 


114  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Exti-act  from  Diary. — Monda}',  25th  August,  we  started  soon 
after  seven  o'clock,  and  proceeding  in  a  N.  E.  direction,  crossed 
the  marsh  close  to  the  town,  where  it  was  about  two  feet  deep  and 
one  hundred  and  fifty  yards  broad.  We  travelled  the  path  to 
Sallagha,  through  a  beautiful  country',  abounding  in  neat  crooms 
(of  which  we  passed  through  seven),  the  sites  spacious,  and  en- 
vironed by  extensive  plantations.  The  path  was  wide  and  so  nearly 
direct,  that  the  eye  was  always  in  advance  through  beautiful  vistas 
varied  by  gentle  risings.    The  iron  stone  still  prevailed. 

The  King  received  us  in  the  market  place,  and  enquiring  anxi- 
ously if  we  had  breakfasted,  ordered  refreshment.  After  some 
conversation  we  were  conducted  to  a  house  prepared  for  our 
reception,  where  a  relish  was  served  (sufficient  for  an  army)  of 
soups,  stews,  plantains,  yams,  rice.  Sec.  (all  excellently  cooked) 
wine,  spirits,  oranges,  and  every  fruit.  The  messengers,  soldiers, 
and  servants  were  distinctly  provided  for.  Declining  the  offer  of 
beds,  we  walked  out  in  the  town,  and  conversed  and  played  drafts 
with  the  Moors,  who  were  reclining  under  trees  ;  the  King  joined  us 
with  cheerful  affability,  and  seemed  to  have  forgotten  his  cares. 
About  two  o'clock  dinner  was  announced.  We  had  been  taught 
to  prepare  for  a  surprise,  but  it  was  exceeded.  AVe  were  conducted 
to  the  eastern  side  of  the  croom,  to  a  door  of  green  reeds,  w^hich 
excluded  the  crowd,  and  admitted  us  through  a  short  avenue  to 
the  King's  garden,  an  area  equal  to  one  of  the  large  squares  in 
London.  The  breezes  were  strong  and  constant.  In  the  centre, 
four  large  umbrellas  of  new  scarlet  cloth  were  fixed,  under  which 
was  the  King's  dining  table  (heigthened  for  the  occasion)  and 
covered  in  the  most  imposing  manner ;  his  massy  plate  was  well 
disposed,  and  silver  forks,  knives,  and  spoons  (Colonel  Torrane's) 
were  plentifully  laid.  The  large  silver  waiter  supported  a  roasting 
pig  in  the  centre ;  the  other  dishes  on  the  table  were  roasted  ducks, 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  115 

fowls,  stews,  pease  pudding,  &c.  &c.  On  the  ground  on  one  side 
of  the  table  were  various  soups,  and  every  sort  of  vegetable;  and 
elevated  parallel  with  the  other  side,  were  oranges,  pines,  and  other 
fruits ;  sugar-candy,  Port  and  Madeira  wine,  spirits  and  Dutch 
cordials,  with  glasses.  Before  we  sat  down  the  King  met  us,  and 
said,  that  as  we  had  come  out  to  see  him,  we  must  receive  the 
following  present  from  his  hands,  2  oz.  4  ackies  of  gold,  one  sheep 
and  one  large  hog  to  the  officers,  10  ackios  to  the  linguists,  and 
5  ackies  to  our  servants. 

We  never  saw  a  dinner  more  handsomely  served,  and  never  ate 
a  better.  On  our  expressing  our  relish,  the  King  sent  for  his  cooks, 
and  gave  them  ten  ackies.  The  King  and  a  few  of  his  captains  sat 
at  a  distance,  but  he  visited  us  constantly,  and  seemed  quite  proud 
of  the  scene  ;  he  conversed  freely,  and  expressed  much  satisfaction 
at  our  toasts,  "  The  King  of  Ashantee,  the  King  of  England,  the 
Governor,  the  King's  Captains,  a  perpetual  union  (with  a  speech, 
which  is  the  sine  qua  non)  and  the  handsome  Avomen  of  England 
and  Ashantee."  After  dinner  the  King  made  many  enquiries 
about  England,  and  retired,  as  we  did,  that  our  servants  might 
clear  the  table,  which  he  insisted  on.  When  he  returned,  some  of 
the  wine  and  Dutch  cordials  remaining,  he  gave  them  to  our 
servants  to  take  with  them,  and  ordered  the  table  cloth  to  be 
thrown  to  them  and  all  the  napkins.  A  cold  pig,  cold  fowls  (with 
six  that  had  not  been  dressed)  were  dispatched  to  Coomassie  for 
our  supper.  We  took  leave  about  five  o'clock,  the  King  accom- 
panying us  to  the  end  of  the  croom,  where  he  took  our  hands,  and 
wished  us  good  night.  We  reached  the  capital  again  at  six,  much 
gratified  by  our  excursion  and  treatment. 

Mr.  Tedhe  had  brought  Quamina  Bwa  (our  guide)  into  a  very 
advanced  state  of  convalescence ;  but  he  so  eagerly  betook  him- 
self from  low  diet  to  palm  oil  soups,  and  stews  of  blood,  tbat  he 


lie  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

soon  relapsed,  and  a  gathering  formed  on  his  hver,  aggravated 
not  a  Uttle  by  the  various  fetish  draughts  he  swallowed.  Seeing 
there  was  no  other  chance,  Mr.  Tedlie,  Avho  is  a  very  skilful 
operator,  would  have  scarified  the  liver  ;  but  although  I  had  great 
reason  to  rely  confidently  on  his  judgment  and  ability,  I  thought 
our  situatiooi  too  critical  to  run  such  a  risk.  A  Fantee  boy  having 
fractured  his  leg,  and  his  dissolution  appearing  inevitable,  the 
parents,  in  great  distress,  applied  to  the  surgeon  of  an  English 
outfort,  who  amputated  the  limb,  and  after  much  wearying  attend- 
ance, to  the  surprise  of  every  one,  restored  the  boy  to  health. 
The  family  then  brought  him  into  the  fort,  and  laying  him  down 
in  the  hall,  addressed  the  surgeon  (who  was  in  charge  of  the  fort) 
thus;  "As  Master  cut  off  poor  boy's  leg,  and  so  spoil  poor  boy 
for  work,  we  come  to  ask  Master  how  much  he  think  to  give  poor 
boy  to  keep  him." 

Quamina  Bwa  was  fetished  until  the  last  moment,  and  died 
amidst  the  howls  of  a  legion  of  old  hags,  plastering  the  walls,  door 
posts,  and  every  thing  about  him,  with  chopped  egg  and  different 
messes.  I  forget  how  many  sheep  he  had  sacrificed  to  the  fetish 
by  the  advice  of  these  harpies.  The  King  sent  him  a  sheep  and  a 
periguin  of  gold,  when  he  heard  he  Avas  ill.  This  man  had  settled 
the  palaver  with  Mr.  White,  after  the  blockade  of  Cape  Coast,  in 
1815,  the  third  invasion  of  the  Ashantees,  and  was  universally 
odious,  for  his  cruel  extortions  ;  these  being  reported  to  the  King, 
he  was  disgraced ;  and  being  very  extravagant,  became  much 
involved.  Being  at  Payntree,  he  prevailed  on  Quamina  Bushma- 
quaw  to  allow  him  to  conduct  us,  to  retrieve  his  finances  a  little. 
Excepting  Adoocee,  the  King's  chief  linguist,  he  was  the  most 
plausible  villain  I  ever  met  with. 

The  head  of  an  Akim  caboceer  arrived  in  Coomassie  about  this 
time.    The  King  and  the  Ashantee  government  had  proposed  that 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  lit 

every  croom  of  Akim  should  pay  30  periguins  of  gold  as  an 
atonement  for  their  late  revolt.  Ten  periguins  were  advanced 
immediately  by  each,  and  the  other  moiety  was  excused  until  after 
the  harvest ;  but  Aboidedroo  caboceer  of  Manasoo  resolutely 
refused  to  pay  a  tokoo.  The  Kingis  messengers,  however,  appealed 
to  his  people  with  so  much  address,  that  they  rose  upon  their 
caboceer,  killed  him,  and  sent  his  head  to  the  King,  with  the  20 
periguins  required. 


118  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 


CHAPTER  VI. 


Proceedings  and  Incidents  until  the  Ratification  of  a  General  Treaty. 

1  H  E  report  of  an  Ashantee  having  been  flogged  to  death  in  Cape 
Coast  Castle,  which  was  aggravated  every  hour  to  our  prejudice, 
was  explained  by  the  following  letter : 

Cape  Coast  Castle,  August  17,  ISl"- 

T.  E.  BowDiCH,  Esq. 
Sir, 

The  day  before  yesterday  an  Ashantee  man  was  guilty  of  a  most 
daring  insult  to  the  fort.  On  passing  the  gate,  he  was  desired  by 
the  sentinel  to  take  his  cloth  off  his  shoulders,  but  instead  of  com- 
plying, he  turned  round  and  struck  him.  The  offender  was 
instantly  secured,  and  I  ordered  him  to  be  put  in  irons.  Last 
night  about  nine  o'clock,  the  captain  of  the  guard  came  to  me  to 
say,  that  the  sentry  on  duty  had  reported  the  Ashantee  to  have 
hung  himself.  The  place  in  which  he  was  with  others  confined, 
was  immediately  opened,  and  he  was  found  in  a  room  adjoining  to 
that  in  which  the  prisoners  sleep,  with  his  under  cloth  attached  to 
a  beam  not  more  than  three  feet  high,  and  very  tightlj'  drawn 
round  his  throat,  part  of  his  body  was  lying  on  the  ground,  and  it 
must  have  been  by  the  most  determined  resolution  that  he  suc- 
ceeded in  strangling  himself.    The  surgeon  was  present,  but  his 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  119 

efforts  to  recover  him  were  ineffectual.  This  is  the  second  offence 
of  a  similar  nature  that  has  occurred ;  the  first  person,  I  most 
assuredly  should  have  punished,  had  he  not  ran  past  the  sentry 
and  made  his  escape. 

The  King's  displeasure  will  no  doubt  be  excited  when  he  hears 
of  such  acts  of  insolence,  and  I  hope  lie  will  issue  such  orders  to 
his  people,  as  will  make  them  more  circumspect  in  future. 

I  am,  Sir, 
your  most  obedient  Servant, 

J.  H.  SMITH. 


Coomassie,  3\st  August,  1817. 

John  Hope  Smith,  Esq.  Governor  in  Chief,  »Scc.  &c.  &c. 
Sir, 

I  received  your  letter  last  evening  respecting  the  suicide  of  the 
Ashantee.  I  procured  an  audience  this  morning,  and  have  just 
returned  from  the  palace,  where  I  had  the  honour  to  address  you 
a  letter,  in  the  name  of  the  King,  on  this,  and  other  subjects. 

The  messenger  sent  up  by  Adoo  Bradie,  was  the  brother  of  the 
deceased,  and  declared  before  the  King  upon  oath,  that  he  had 
been  killed  by  the  officers.  The  master  (our  landlord)  proposed  a 
fine  to  the  captains  assembled,  but  after  the  audience  was  gone 
through,  the  King  retired  to  council,  which  is  the  form,  and  return- 
ing, dictated  the  sentiments  I  had  the  honour  to  communicate  to 
you,  and  rebuked  our  house-master  severely  for  his  proposition. 
Of  course  I  impressed  the  insult  to  the  fort,  as  the  superior  consi- 
deration of  your  letter. 

The  insolence  of  the  lower  orders  here  became  insufferable,  they 
proceeded  even  to  pelting  us  with  stones  ;  after  every  effort  en  our 


120  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

part  to  conciliate  them  by  the  exhibition  of  the  telegcope  and 
other  novelties.  As  may  be  expected  in  a  military  government, 
they  are  beyond  the  King's  control,  out  of  the  field.  He  declared 
however,  that  he  would  behead  any  man  I  would  point  out  to  him, 
and  begged  me  to  punish  them  as  1  thought  proper :  a  summary 
chastisement  of  two  inferior  captains  repressed  this  spirit. 

All  the  captains  of  consequence   have   become   friendly  and 

respectful;  Apokoo  was  deputed  in  form  yesterday,  in  the  name 

of  the  whole,  to  thank  me  for  my  conduct  in  negociating  with  the 

King. 

The  Treaty  will  be  brought  forward  to  be  executed  in  six  days, 

before  the  annual  assembly  of  Kings,  caboceers,  and  captains.    All 

the  Kings  tributaries  and  allies  being  compelled  to  attend  him  at 

the  yam  custom. 

The  King  intends  3'our  linguist  De  Graff,  to  take  fetish  with  his 

five  linguists,  to  be  just  to  both  the  powers  to  be  pledged  to  the 

treaty,  and  is  convinced  of  his  probity. 

I  am,  with  respect.  Sir, 

your  most  obedient  Servant, 

T.  EDWARD  BOWDICH. 


Coomassie,  3lst  Avg.  1817. 

Sai  Tootoo  Quamina,  King  of  Ashantee,  4'C.  to  John  Hope 
Smith,  Esquire,  Governor  in  Chief,  ^-c.  <^c.  ^c. 

Sir, 

The  King  assures  you,  that,  anticipating  the  permanent  union  of 
the  English  and  Ashantees,  so  far  from  alloAving  the  death  of  one 
man  to  retard  it,  he  should  take  no  notice  if  a  thousand  were 
flogged  to  death  by  you,  as  reported  here,  well  knowing  the  inso- 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  121 

lent  disposition  of  the  lower  order  of  Ashantees,  which  is  as  vexa- 
tious to  him  as  to  you.  He  is  satisfied  however,  that  this  man  came 
to  his  death  by  his  own  hands. 

The  King  wishes  you  to  adjust  the  palaver  between  the  Com- 
mend as  and  Elminas,  as  soon  as  convenient  to  you ;  that  all  the 
people  who  serve  him  may  be  united,  relying  entirely  on  your 
justice. 

The  King  Avill  thank  you  very  much  if  you  will  make  the  people 
of  Cape  Coast,  Elmina,  and  Commenda  "  all  one  together." 

The  little  palaver  between  these  people,  is  the  only  one  remain- 
ing ;  and  therefore,  though  it  is  not  his,  he  wishes  you  to  settle  it. 

The  King  hereby,  and  by  his  messenger,  empowers  his  nephew 
Adoo  Bradie,  and  the  Captain  Quantree,  to  receive  the  gold 
from  the  deputies  of  Commenda  in  your  presence. 

You  must  settle  the  comphments  and  fees,  which  the  Com- 
mendas  send  to  the  King's  linguists  and  captains. 

The  King  hopes  you  will  advise  the  people  of  Amissa,  through 
some  medium,  to  retract  their  insolent  message  to  the  King,  that 
the  whole  of  the  Fantee  territory  may  be  quiet. 

The  King  has  condescended^  personally  to  solicit  Mr.  Bowdich 
to  protract  his  stay  fifteen  days,  and  obliged  all  his  captains  to  the 
same  condescension,  so  that  you  will  consider  it  the  King's  act 
from  the  wish  to  send  him  down  with  an  honourable  escort,  and 
other  marks  of  his  favour. 

The  King  wishes  you  health  and  happiness. 

The  mark  ><)  of  Sai  Tootoo  Quaniina,  &c. 
In  the  presence  of 

Wm.  Hutchison. 

Henry  Tedlie. 


122  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

A  few  only  of  the  many  curious  observations  of  our  Ashantee 
friends  recur  to  me.  One  captain  told  us  lie  had  heard  that  the 
English  were  so  constantly  in  palavers,  one  with  another,  that  their 
houses,  which  he  understood  to  be  made  of  wood,  the  same  as  their 
ships,  were  always  fixed  on  wheels  ;  so  that  when  a  man  had 
quarrelled  with  his  neighbour,  he  moved  to  another  part  of  the 
bush.  Another  insisted  that  monkies  (whom  the  Moors  said  sprung 
from  the  Israelites,  who  disobeyed  Moses)  could  talk  as  well  as 
men ;  but  they  were  not  such  fools ;  for  if  they  did,  they  knew 
men  would  make  them  work. — This  is  better  than  Pliny's  account 
of  monkies  playing  chess. 

The  King  walked  abroad  in  great  stale  one  day,  an  irresistible 
caricature  ;  he  had  on  an  old  fashioned  court  suit  of  General 
Daendels'  of  brown  velveteen,  richly  embroidered  with  silver 
thistles,  with  an  English  epaulette  sewn  on  each  shoulder,  the  coat 
coming  close  round  the  knees,  from  which  the  flaps  of  the  waistcoat 
were  not  very  distant,  a  cocked  hat  bound  with  gold  lace,  in 
shape  just  like  that  of  a  coachman's,  white  shoes,  the  long  silver 
headed  cane  we  presented  to  him,  mounted  with  a  crown,  as  a 
walking  staff,  and  a  small  dirk  round  his  waist. 

The  King  presented  one  of  our  servants  with  six  ackies  of  gold, 
for  making  trowsers  for  his  child,  and  mending  him  a  pair  of 
drawers,  which  he  thought  it  extravagant  to  put  on  under  trowsers 
or  small  clothes,  and  therefore  wore  them  alone. 

I  fixed  a  rude  leaping  bar  in  the  outer  yard  of  our  house,  and 
trained  the  horse  to  it,  preparatory  to  getting  him  over  the  trunks 
of  trees  on  the  path  :  this  brought  even  greater  levees  than  the 
camera  obscura,  or  the  telescope.  Sometimes  a  gazer  would  start 
from  the  eye  piece  of  the  latter,  to  lay  hold  of  the  figure  at  the  end, 
as  he  expected  ;  and  they  all  insisted  on  both  being  taken  to  pieces 
in  their  presence,  that  they  might  see  what  was  inside      At  length. 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  123 

being  inexplicable,  it  wan  pronounced  fetish.  A  captain  had  told 
the  King,  that  with  the  telescope  we  saw,  when  at  Doompassie,  all 
that  he  was  doing  at  Coomassie  :  and  happening,  in  a  sudden  and 
heavy  rain,  to  gallop  from  Asafoo  to  our  house,  with  Mr.  Tedlie  on 
the  horse  behind  me,  holding  the  umbrella,  it  was  immediately 
reported  to  the  King  as  our  plan  of  traveUing  to  Cape  Coast. 

Our  Accra  hnguist  pointed  out  a  man  to  me  named  Tando, 
whom  he  recollected  to  have  visited  the  Coast  some  years,  in  great 
pomp,  never  going  the  shortest  distance,  but  in  his  taffeta  hammock, 
covered  with  a  gorgeous  umbrella,  and  surrounded  by  flatterers, 
who  even  wiped  the  ground  before  he  trod  on  it.  This  man  had 
now  scarcely  a  cloth  to  cover  him.  He  had  been  retired  from  his 
embassy  to  Akim,  in  consequence  of  a  dispute  with  Attah,  then 
the  king  of  that  country  ;  for  though  Attah  was  adjudged  to  be  in 
fault,  after  the  palaver  was  talked  at  Coomassie,  the  Ashantee 
government  thought  it  politic  to  displace  Tando,  though  he  had 
become  disagreeable  to  the  other,  only  for  his  vigilance  and  fidelity. 
After  a  long  interval  of  the  most  luxurious  life  the  capital  could 
afford,  he  Avas  instructed  to  proceed  to  Elmina,  to  talk  a  palaver 
for  the  King ;  but  thinking  it  would  be  a  coup  d'eclat  much  more 
important  and  agreeable,  if  he  could  settle  the  Warsaw  palaver  as 
well,  he  visited  the  country  on  his  return,  and  persuaded  them  to 
conciliate  the  King,  and  avert  their  ruin,  by  carrying  a  consider- 
able sum  of  gold  to  Coomassie,  and  agreeing  to  pay  twenty-four 
slaves  for  every  Ashantee  subject  killed  or  injured  by  one  of 
Warsaw.  Deputies  returned  with  this  man  for  this  purpose ;  but 
the  King  dismissed  them  contemptuously  ;  and  to  the  disappoint- 
ment and  surprise  of  Tando,  declared  that  no  man  must  dare  lo  do 
good  out  of  his  own  head,  or  perhaps  he  would  find  he  did  bad,  as 
Tando  had  done,  in  spoiling  a  palaver  which  he  and  his  great  men 
meant  to  sleep  a  long  time.     Tando  was  immediately  stripped  of 


1^  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

all  his  propert3'  for  his  presumption,  and  from  a  noble  became  a 
beggar.  '^l  in  i 

The  Moors  now  became  friendly,  and  sent  us  some  very  good 
coffee,  and  choice  pieces  of  meat. 


Coomassie,  Sept.  8th,  1817- 

John  Hope  Smith,  Esquire,  Governor  in  Chief,  &c.  &c. 

Sir, 

I  HAVE  the  satisfaction  to  inform  you,  that  the  treat}^  was  signed 
and  sworn  to  yesterday,  by  the  King  of  Ashantee,  and  this  da}',  by 
the  King  of  Dwabin.  The  whole  of  the  caboceers,  captains,  and 
tributaries  having  arrived,  the  treaty  was  finally  discussed  on 
Saturday,  and  two  of  the  four  members  of  the  Aristocracy,  Avith 
the  two  oldest  captains  (i\shantee  and  Nabbra)  were  deputed  to 
swear  for  that  assembly,  with  the  King,  whose  oaths  (being  very 
rare)  are  solemnized  by  the  presence  of  his  wives. 

The  King  sent  a  handsome  procession  of  flags,  guns,  and  music, 
to  conduct  us  to  the  palace  on  the  occasion  ;  and  meeting  us  in 
the  outer  square,  preceded  us  to  the  inmost,  where  about  300 
females  ^vere  seated,  in  all  the  magnificence  which  a  profusion  of 
gold  and  silk  could  furnish.  The  splendour  of  this  coup  d'oeil 
made  our  surprise  almost  equal  to  theirs.  We  were  seated  with 
the  King  and  the  deputies,  under  the  large  umbrellas  in  the  centre, 
and  I  was  desired  to  declare  the  objects  of  the  Embassy  and  the 
Treaty,  to  an  old  linguist,  peculiar  to  the  women.  The  King 
displayed  the  presents  to  them  ]  the  flags  were  all  sewn  together, 
and  wrapped  around  him  as  a  cloth. 

I  was  afterwards  desired  to  stand  before  the  King,  and  swear  on 
my  sword  that  I  had  declared  the  truth  :  I  did  so,  with  the  other 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  125 

officers.  The  next  form  dictated  was,  that  I  should  seat  myself, 
and  receive  the  oaths  of  the  deputies,  and  lastly,  of  the  King 
himself,  for  his  brother  die  King  of  England.  They  advanced  in 
turn,  extending  tlieir  gold  swords  close  to  my  face,  as  they  declared 
their  oaths.  I  rose  to  receive  the  King's,  all  the  women  holding 
up  two  fingers,  as  their  mark  of  approbation  when  he  received  the 
sword,  and  one  of  his  counsellors  kneeling  beside  him  with  a  large 
stone  on  his  head.  The  King  swore  very  deliberately,  that  his 
words  might  be  fully  impressed  on  me,  invoking  God  and  the 
fetish  to  kill  him  ;  first,  if  he  did  not  keep  the  law,  if  we  had 
sworn  true  ;  and  secondly,  if  he  did  not  revenge  the  Ashantees  to 
the  full,  if  we  had  bad  in  our  heads,  and  did  not  come  for  the 
purpose  I  avowed.  The  assurances,  and  the  menaces  of  the  oaths 
of  the  captains  were  equally  forcible.  The  King  sent  an  anker  of 
rum  to  our  people  to  drink  on  the  occasion,  and  paid  each  captain 
the  customai'y  fee,  of  a  periguin  of  gold  on  his  oath. 

The  King  having  communicated  my  wish,  by  a  formal  message, 
to  Boitinnee  Quama,  the  King  of  Dwabin,  who  holds  his  temporary 
court  on  the  north  side  of  the  town,  I  seconded  it,  by  sending  the 
canes  to  request  an  audience ;  at  which  I  had  again  formally  to 
declare  the  objects  of  the  Embassy  and  the  Treaty,  which,  after  a 
great  deal  of  form  and  enquiry,  received  his  signature,  with  the 
attestations  of  his  chief  linguists,  Quama  Saphoo,  and  Kobara 
Saphoo,  who  are  his  principal  counsellors.  His  court  was  equally 
crowded  with  the  King  of  Ashantees,  who  sits  on  his  right  hand 
when  he  visits  Dwabin  ;  a  reciprocal  etiquette. 

By  an  addition  to  the  4th  article  of  the  treaty,  I  reconciled  the 
point  of  the  Amissa  palaver ;  and  the  securing  you  the  opportu- 
nity of  mediation,  (without  attaching  any  thing  like  responsibility) 
I  considered  to  be  not  only  a  precaution  due  to  humanity,  but  a 
prudent  and  legitimate  measure  for  the  extension  of  our  influence. 


126  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

The  value  of  this  treaty  is  enhanced  liy  the  reflection,  that  the 
justice,  dignity,  and  spirit,  of  the  British  Government  have  been 
preserved  inviolate :  and  that  it  has  been  the  result  of  the  impres- 
sion, and  not  of  the  abatement  of  these  characteristics. 

We  are  flattered  by  your  acknowledgment  of  our  offer  to 
accompany  the  King  to  the  Buntooko  war,  and  feel  the  force  of 
your  reason  in  the  present  view  of  the  invasion  of  that  country. 
The  lake  provmg  to  be  southward  instead  of  northward,  and  close 
to  the  Accra  path,  I  did  not  think  it  prudent  to  aggravate  sus- 
picion, for  so  secondary  and  well  defined  an  object,  whilst  every 
day  exacted  some  exertion  (beyond  vigilance)  to  wear  away  the 
difiiculties  opposed  to  the  more  important  views  of  the  Mission. 

I  expect  the  King  will  permit  me  to  take  leave  on  Saturday 
next.     To-morrow  Apokoo  gives  us  a  dinner  in  public. 

I  am,  with  respect.  Sir, 

your  most  obedient  Servant, 

T.  E.  BOWDICH. 


Treaty  made  and  entered  into  by  Thomas  Edward  Bowdich, 
Esquire,  in  the  name  of  the  Governor  and  Council  at  Cape  Coast 
Castle  on  the  Gold  Coast  oj  Africa,  and  on  behalf  of  the  British 
Government,  with  Sai  Tootoo  Quamina,  King  of  Ashantee  and 
its  Dependencies,  and  Boitinnee  Quama,  King  of  Dwabin  and 
its  Dependencies. 

1st.  There  shall  be  perpetual  peace  and  harmony  between  the 
British  subjects  in  this  country,  and  the  subjects  of  the  Kings  of 
Ashantee  and  Dwabin. 

2nd.  The  same  shall  exist  between  the  subjects  of  the  Kings  of 
Ashantee  and  Dwabin,  and  all  nations  of  Africa  residing  under  the 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  127 

protection  of  the  Company's  Forts  and  Settlements  on  the  Gold 
Coast,  anil,  it  is  hereby  agreed,  that  there  are  no  palavers  now 
existing,  and  that  neither  party  has  any  claim  upon  the  other. 

3rd.  The  King  of  Ashantee  guarantees  the  security  of  the  people 
of  Cape  Coast,  from  the  hostilities  threatened  by  the  people  of 
Elmina. 

4th.  In  order  to  avert  the  horrors  of  war,  it  is  agreed,  that  in 
any  case  of  aggression  on  the  part  of  the  natives  under  British 
protection,  the  Kings  shall  complain  thereof  to  the  Governor  in 
Chief  to  obtain  redress,  and  that  they  will  in  no  instance  resort  to 
hostilities,  even  against  the  other  towns  of  the  Fantee  territory, 
without  endeavouring  as  much  as  possible  to  effect  an  amicable 
arrangement,  affording  the  Governor  the  opportunity  of  propitiating 
it,  as  far  as  he  may  with  discretion. 

5th.  The  King  of  Ashantee  agrees  to  permit  a  British  officer  to 
reside  constantly  at  his  capital,  for  the  purpose  of  instituting  and 
preserving  a  regular  communication  with  the  Governor  in  Chief  at 
Cape  Coast  Castle. 

6th.  The  Kings  of  Ashantee  and  Dwabin  pledge  themselves  to 
countenance,  promote,  and  encourage  the  trade  of  their  subjects 
Avith  Cape  Coast  Castle  and  its  dependencies  to  the  extent  of  their 
power. 

7th.  The  Governors  of  the  respective  Forts  shall  at  all  times 
afford  every  protection  in  their  power  to  the  persons  and  property 
of  the  people  of  Ashantee  and  Dwabin,  who  may  resort  to  the 
water  side. 

8th.  The  Governor  in  Chief  reserves  to  himself  the  right  of 
punishing  any  subject  of  Ashantee  or  Dwabin  guilty  of  secondary 
offences,  but  in  case  of  any  crime  of  magnitude,  he  will  send  the 
offender  to  the  Kings,  to  be  dealt  with  according  to  the  laws  of  his 
country. 


128 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 


ptli.  The  Kings  agree  to  commit  their  children  to  the  care  of 
the  Governor  in  Chief,  for  education,  at  Cape  Coast  Castle,  in  the 
full  confidence  of  the  good  intentions  of  the  British  government, 
and  of  the  benefits  to  be  derived  therefrom. 

lOlh.  The  Kings  promise  to  direct  diligent  inquiries  to  be  made 
respecting  the  officers  attached  to  the  Mission  of  Major  John 
Peddie,  and  Captain  Thomas  Campbell;  and  to  influence  and 
oblige  the  neighbouring  kingdoms  and  their  tributaries,  to  befriend 
them  as  the  subjects  of  the  British  government. 

Signed  and  sealed  at  Coomassie,  this  seventh  day  of  Sep- 
tember, in  the  year  of  our  Lord  one  thousand  eight 
hundred  and  seventeen. 


(L.  S.) 
(L.  S.) 
(L.  S.) 


The  mark  of  SAI  TOOTOO  QUAMINA  X 

The  mark  of  BOITINNEE  QUAMA  X 

THOMAS  EDWARD  BOWDICH. 

In  the  presence  of 
William  Hutchison,  Resident. 
Henry  Ted  lie.  Assistant  Surgeon. 
The  mark  of  Apokoo        X 

Odumata    X 

Nabbra     tx! 

AsHANTEE  ><!      J 

Kabra  Saphoo       X    I  Linguists  to  the  King   of 

QuAMiNA  Saphoo  X    )       Dwabiu. 

QuASHEE  Apaintree  X  AcCTa  Liuguist. 

QuASHEE  Tom    X  } r^       ^        t-       • 

^  „  ^^    f  Cape  Coast  Lmguists. 

QUAMINA  QUATCHEE  X     3 


Deputed  from  the  General  Assem- 

V     bly  of  caboceers  and  captains  to 
swear  with  the  King. 


^r^ 


® 


(s) 


a  ; 


^ 


\v 


128  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

9th.  The  Kings  agree  to  commit  their  children  to  the  care  of 
the  Governor  in  Chief,  for  education,  at  Cape  Coast  Castle,  in  the 
full  confidence  of  the  good  intentions  of  the  British  government, 
and  of  the  benefits  to  be  derived  therefrom. 

lOlh.  The  Kings  promise  to  direct  diligent  inquiries  to  be  made 
respecting  tlie  officers  attached  to  the  Mission  of  Major  John 
Peddie,  and  Captain  Thomas  Campbell;  and  to  influence  and 
oblige  the  neighbouring  kingdoms  and  their  tributaries,  to  befriend 
•them  as  the  subjects  of  the  British  government. 

Signed  and  sealed  at  Coomassie,  this  seventh  day  of  Sep- 
tember, in  the  year  of  our  Lord  one  thousand  eight 
hundred  and  seventeen. 

The  mark  of  SAI  TOOTOO  QUAMINA  X      (L.  S.) 

The  mark  of  BOITINNEE  QUAMA  >^  (L.  S.) 

THOMAS  EDWARD  BOWDICH.  (L.  S.) 

In  the  presence  of 

William  Hutchison,  Resident. 

Henry  Tedlie,  Assistant  Surgeon. 

The  mark  of  Apokoo       >^    1  -r^  ,  ^         ,     ^ 

^  .  ^        Deputed  from  the  General  Assem- 

Odumata    XI,,-,  , 

,-r  L^      ^      biy  of  caboceers  and  captains  to 

IN  ABBRA       X  . 

swear  with  the  King. 

AsHANTEE  X      J 

KabraSaphoo       X    I  Linguists  to  the  King   of 
QuAMiNA  Saphoo  X    J       Dwabin. 
QuASHEE  Apaintree  X  Accra  Liuguist. 


QuASHEE  Tom    X 

QUAMINA  QUATCHEE  X 


>Cape  Coast  Linguists. 


^:i-p^^»)®c-!»i®c 


)®C 


>®c 


■  ■»••-'««&►  ■•■■ 


5^ 


^ 


^ 


0) 


oc 


v-S 


"^^A 


rv\^y,^ 


■K 


^ 


■ey 


v- 


^ 


;"■  ^^  >J  $^^^"  r^f:.?^  ^ 

^     :i      <:      Jr3>     ";J.k     ^cli,     <^^     SX 


^' 


^  ? 


^'  ?^  |L  ^ 


V 


G^ 


C  ^  "^  .'I'st-  -^ 


§^ 


S^ 


5k 


!>'  "    I;  '^  ^  ^  , ..- 


)®(5!B*)  ®  c^)  («)  c^^  ®<:^  ®  (^»)  ®  (*^)  ®  C«^®  ( 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  129 

We  were  present  at  the  trial  of  Appia  Nanu,  who  had  accom- 
panied his  brother  Appia  Danqua  in  the  last  invasion  of  Fantee, 
and  was  ordered  by  the  King,  on  his  death,  to  take  the  command 
of  the  army,  and  prosecute  the  campaign.  In  the  irritation  of  the 
moment,  he  exclaimed,  before  the  royal  messengers,  that  though 
the  King  did  not  prevent  him  from  succeeding  to  the  stool,  and 
the  honours  of  his  brother,  he  kept  back  all  the  rock  gold  which 
belonged  to  the  inheritance,  and  desired  to  wear  him  out  in  the 
pursuit  of  the  revolters,  to  prevent  his  claim  and  enjoyment  of  the 
properly  of  his  family.  From  this  time  he  was.  very  inactive,  and 
became,  suspected  of  cowardice;  however,  having  succeeded  in 
o;ettino;  the  head  of  one  of  the  revolters,  he  returned  to  Coomassie  ; 
where  he  was  coolly  received,  but  not  accused  until  the  8th  of 
July.  The  witnesses  Avere  the  messengers  the  King  had  sent  to 
him,  who  had  been  concealed  in  a  distant  part  of  the  frontier  ever 
since,  that  Appia  Nanu,  believing  the  general  report  of  their  death, 
might  be  the  more  confounded  when  they  burst  upon  him  at  the 
moment  of  his  denial  of  the  charge.  He  was  deprived  of  his  stool 
and  the  whole  of  his  property,  but  permitted  to  retire  with  three 
wives  and  ten  slaves ;  the  King  hearing  the  next  day  that  he  still 
loitered  in  the  capital,  exclaimed,  that  no  proper  man  would  bear 
so  much  shame  before  all  the  people,  rather  than  leave  his  home, 
and  ordered  only  one  wife  to  be  left  to  him,  Avhereupon  Appia 
Nanu  hung  himself.  The  King  considers,  that  none  but  the  basest 
spirits  can  endure  life  after  severe  disgrace. 

The  Moors  celebrated  the  feast  of  Ramadan  in  this  month  : 
there  was  nothing  curious  in  this  ceremony.  Men  and  women 
were  dressed  in  their  richest  suits,  and  seated  on  large  skins  before 
their  houses,  for  they  occupy  one  street  exclusively.  They  rose 
occasionally  in  small  troops,  made  short  circuits  in  different  direc- 
tions, saluted  each  other,  and  then  sat  down  again.    In  the  evening, 

s 


130  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

the  superiors  exchanged  visits  at  their  houses ;  the  one  visited 
always  accompanied  the  other  some  distance  along  the  street  on 
his  wa}',  Avhere  they  exchanged  blessings,  and  parted.  The  slaves 
who  carried  their  small  umbrella's  over  their  heads,  seemed 
thoroughly  jaded  by  this  incessant  parading. 

The  King  regretted  in  one  of  his  visits  about  this  time,  that  they 
were  not  more  frequent ;  he  said,  our  conversation  entertained  him 
more  than  any  thing  else,  Ijecause  it  told  him  of  so  many  things 
black  men  never  heard  of,  but  when  he  wished  to  see  us  on  that 
account,  his  great  men  checked  him,  and  said,  it  did  not  become 
him  as  a  great  King  to  want  us,  but  that  he  should  only  send  his 
compliments,  see  us,  and  make  us  wait  a  long  time  when  he  sent 
for  us  to  the  palace. 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  131 


CHAPTER    VII. 


Proceedings  and  Incidents  until  the  completion  of  the  Mission  and  its 
return  to  Cape  Coast  Castle. 

On  the  11th  of  September  I  received  the  Governor's  reply  to  my 
letter  of  the  10th  of  August. 

Cape  Coast  Castle,  August  25,  1817. 

T.  E.  BowDicH,  Esq. 
Sir, 

I  HAVE  received  your  letter  of  the  10th  instant.  The  boy  and 
girl  shall  be  disposed  of  under  the  protection  of  the  Government 
here,  agreeable  to  the  King's  wishes. 

The  messenger  (Ocranameah)  has  grossly  misrepresented  to  the 
King,  the  reception  he  met  with  at  Cape  Coast ;  he  was  treated 
with  the  greatest  civility  during  his  stay,  and  on  leaving,  expressed 
himself  gratified  by  the  attention  which  had  been  shewn  him. 

For  the  King's  satisfaction,  I  have  subjoined  a  list  of  the  articles 
I  made  him  a  present  of;*  the  three  first  which  I  gave  him,  on 
taking  leave,  will,  when  produced,  convince  him  how  much  he  has 
been  deceived,  and  prove  to  him,  that  his  recommendation  of  the 
messenger  was  not  unattended  to. 

The  Buntooko  war,  I  consider  a  mere  pretext  for  getting  rid  of 

*  One  piece  of  silk.  10  handkerchiefs  of  Dane.  1  umbrella,  4  gallons  of  rum. 
20lbs.  of  pork.     1  basket  of  rice.     Biscuit.     1  sheep. 


132  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

the  Resident;  it  cannot  be  the  true  motive:  to  oppose  however, 
any  disincHnation  to  the  measure,  either  on  the  part  of  the  King 
or  his  principal  men,  would  be  entirely  useless ;  the  aversion  to  it 
has  no  doubt  originated  in  the  latter,  with  whom,  under  the  present 
order  of  things,  the  Resident  would  be  very  unpopular;  conse- 
quently unsafe.  The  eager  desire  which  the  King  has  manifested 
for  enquiring  into  every  trivial  occurrrence,  is  another  cause  of  its 
beino-  objectionable.  The  residence  of  a  British  officer  would 
afford  him  the  opportunity,  not  only  of  doing  this,  but  of  making 
demands  which  he  might  otherwise  not  have  thought  of.  These 
and  other  circumstances,  which  were  entirely  unforeseen,  have 
materially  altered  my  opinion  in  regard  to  the  Residency,  which  is 
certainly  not  so  desirable  as  I  before  considered  it.  You  will 
therefore,  on  your  return,  bring  Mr.  Hutchison  with  you. 

I  am  not  aware  of  any  Ashantees  having  introduced  themselves 
here,  but  such  as  were  duly  authorised  by  the  King  ;  you  will 
however  inform  him,  that  none  will  be  attended  to  unless  they  bear 
his  cane. 

As  Mr.  Hutchison  is  to  return,  it  will  be  a  most  important  point 
that  you  bring  down  two  of  the  King's  sons  for  education,  and  I 
am  very  solicitous  that  you  should  accomplish  this  object  if 
possible. 

The  Commenda  palaver  being  terminated,  there  will  be  nothing 

to  detain  }■  ou  longer  at  Ashantee.     Your  returning  b}^  Avay  of 

"Warsaw  will  be  desirable,  and  1  hope  the  King  will  not  object  to 

your  so  doing. 

I  am,  Sir, 

your  most  obedient  Servant, 

JOHN  HOPE  SMITH. 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  133 

Coomassie,  Sept.  16,  1817- 

John  Hope  Smith,  Esq.  Governor  in  Chief,  &c.  &c.  &c. 

Sir, 
I  DID  not  receive  your  letter  of  the  25th  of  August,  until  the  11th 
instant,  four  days  after  I  had  advised  you  of  the  execution  of  the 
treaty.  I  considered  it  my  duty  to  acquaint  you  of  every  variation 
in  the  prospects  of  the  Embassy,  although,  even  when  communi- 
cating the  discouraging  circumstances  of  my  letter  of  the  10th  ult. 
I  could  not  abate  my  hopes,  or  allow  doubt  to  sicken  my  exertions. 
I  valued  on  the  reflection,  that  I  had  not  been  heard  before  the 
King  in  vindication  of  the  Residency  ;  the  motives  of  which  I 
knew  to  have  been  grossly  misrepresented  by  our  natural  enemies 
the  Moors,  to  whose  arts  the  suspicion  of  the  natives  have  been 
suitably  auxiliary.  My  confidence  was  justified  by  the  favourable 
impression  the  King  and  the  Government  manifested,  when  the 
subject  was  publicly  advocated  ;  since  which  I  have  never  heard 
of  an  objection  to  it :  it  has  indeed,  become  a  favourite  measure 
with  the  superior  captains,  who,  as  far  as  may  be  judged  from  the 
respect  and  deference  with  which  they  have  treated  us  from  that 
time,  seem  not  only  to  have  been  conciliated,  but  won  by  the 
recent  circumstances  of  the  negotiation.  The  terms  of  the  treaty, 
by  exceeding  your  expectations,  will  compensate  for  the  accumu- 
lation of  difficulties  which  have  been  opposed  to  us.  We  are  taught 
to  believe  that  no  law  has  ever  been  enacted  in  this  kingdom  with 
equal  solemnity,  or  an  oath,  so  serious,  been  before  submitted  to 
by  the  King,  or  imposed  on  the  captains.  Had  the  treaty  disap- 
pointed, instead  of  exceeded  our  expectations,  I  must  have  viewed 
it  as  inviolable,  and  submitted  myself  to  your  candour  ;  Avhich  I 
would  now,  and  justify  myself  by  answering  the  reasonable  appre- 


134  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

hensions  which  have  recently  affected  your  opinion  of  the  Resi- 
dency, rather  than  by  the  plea  that  the  treaty  was  executed  before 
I  received  them. 

If  I  had  been  convinced  that  it  Avas  dislike,  and  not  suspicion, 
which  actuated  the  opposition  to  the  Residency,'!  should  not  only 
have  considered  it  imprudent,  but  derogatory,  to  have  persevered 
in  the  view ;  but,  sensible  that  it  was  the  latter,  (from  the  evidence 
of  the  King's  deportment,  and  the  knowledge  of  the  intrigue  and 
calumny  excited  against  us,)  I  felt  the  greater  anxiety  for  its 
accomplishment ;  since,  to  have  yielded  to  suspicion,  without 
every  labour  to  eradicate  it,  would  have  been  to  have  excluded 
ourselves  from  the  kingdom  hereafter. 

If  the  King  had  been  actuated,  individually,  by  the  desire  of 
detecting  the  frauds  of  his  messengers,  I  should  have  viewed  the 
measure  as  pernicious ;  but  the  Government  itself  having  anxiously 
recommended  it,  for  the  sake  of  their  own  interest,  (Fort  pay,  and 
purchases  from  the  treasury  being  always  divided  amongst  the 
superior  captains)  I  considered  it  harmless ;  and  not  solely  from 
the  power  of  its  advocates,  but  also  from  the  impotence  of  the 
royal  messengers  in  stale  affairs,  being  generally  attendants  on  the 
King,  and  therefore  jealously  watched  by  the  other  parts  of  the 
Government.  This  desire  has  only  been  addressed  to  me  in  two 
instances,  both  of  which  I  think  justified  it:  first,  respecting  the 
fort  pay ;  it  having  been  since  proved,  and  confessed,  that,  out  of 
62  oz.  paid  at  Christiansburg  Castle  in  1816  and  17,  the  Ashantee 
Government  has  been  defrauded  of  23  oz.  by  the  messenger :  and 
secondly,  respecting  the  goods  purchased  by  Ocranameah,  where 
the  fraud  could  not  escape  notice.  Such  peculations  have  proba- 
bly, in  the  first  case,  given  rise  to  doubts  of  our  honour ;  and  in  the 
latter,  have  certainly  proved  a  prejudice  to  the  trade.  On  the 
occasion  of  Ocranameah's  baseness,  I  myself  requested  the  King  to 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  135 

allow  me  to  address  you  for  the  particulars  of  his  treatment ;  and 
if  you  consider  the  mischievous  influence  of  the  report,  the  fatahty 
of  the  impression  that  the  King's  Embassy  had  been  subjected  to 
contempt,  whilst  we  had  been  treated  with  generosity  and  respect, 
you  will  admit  that  the  disproof  was  imperious  on  me  :  he  has 
been  disgraced,  and  owes  his  safety  to  my  intercession.  Nothing 
but  the  most  decisive  conduct  can  arrest  villainy  here.  The  reports 
of  Adoo  Bradie  have  been  highly  flattering.  The  King  will  cer- 
tainly have  a  better  opportunity  of  making  demands  from  the 
residence  of  a  British  officer  ;  neither  can  I  lessen  the  probability 
further  than  by  my  opinion,  which  though  only  indulgent  of  the 
people  in  general,  is  certainly  favourable  of  the  honour  of  the 
King,  and  the  superior  captains.  The  advantages  and  prospects 
of  our  preserving  our  footing  by  a  Residency,  have  been  too  fully 
suggested  by  your  experience,  to  require  my  dwelling  on  them. 

I  Avill  proceed  to  acquaint  you  of  the  circumstances  subsequent 
to  my  receipt  of  your  letter,  one  of  which  had  nearly  been  serious. 
After  the  settlement  of  the  Commenda  palaver,  the  King  requested 
me  to  wait  10  days,  which  were  afterwards  extended  to  15,  as  you 
were  advised  in  his  letter  of  the  31st  ult.  This  time  expired  on 
Saturday  last,  but  the  King  said  then  that  we  must  not  go  until 
Monday.  Accordingly,  on  that  day,  I  delivered  Mr.  Hutchison 
written  instructions  (a  copy  of  which  I  enclose)  and  sent  several 
messages  to  the  King  to  remind  him  of  his  promise.  We  were  not 
sent  for  until  six  o'clock  in  the  evening,  when  the  King  said  he 
could  not  let  me  go  then,  nor  before  he  had  time  to  send  me  away 
properly.  This  I  considered  to  be  the  mere  affectation  of  state  ;  I 
pleaded  that  your  orders  were  binding,  and  that  it  Avas  insulting  to 
you,  as  well  as  dangerous  to  me,  to  prevent  m}"^  respect  of  them, 
now  every  thing  hke  business  was  settled.  The  King  said  he 
would  only  ask  me  to  stop  until  We,dnesday.     I  replied,  that  if  he 


136  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

would  give  me  his  hand,  and  promise  that  I  should  go  then,  I  would 
wait.  No  !  he  could  not,  but  he  would  promise  me  for  the  Monday 
following.  I  saw  that  yielding  to  this  would  subject  me  to  an 
indefinite  delay.  I  told  the  King  that  I  should  be  obliged  to  go, 
though  unwillingly,  without  his  approbation,  and  that  not  only  my 
duty  but  his  promise  justified  me.  I  had  only  to  ask  him  if  he  still 
wished  me  to  leave  Mr.  Hutchison  ?  All  the  reply  I  could  get 
was,  that  I  might  break  the  Law  if  I  thought  proper.  I  told  them 
the  Law  would  never  be  broken  by  an  English  officer,  but  still,  if 
they  were  sorry  that  they  had  sworn  to  the  Law,  I  would  send  for 
it  and  tear  it  in  pieces  before  them  ;  we  did  not  make  laws  from 
fear.  No !  they  liked  the  Law,  and  could  not  break  it,  but  I  might 
if  I  chose.  I  repeated  my  willingness  to  stay  till  Wednesday ;  the 
promise  could  only  be  given  for  the  Monday :  the  King  and  the 
council  retired  abruptly.  I  followed  them,  told  them  I  was  obliged 
to  be  determined,  and  begged  the  King  to  shew  his  respect  for 
you,  and  the  friendship  he  had  condescended  to  profess  for  myself, 
by  considering  your  orders :  this  was  construed  as  indecision ; 
and  Monday,  or  when  the  King  has  time,  was  the  reply.  I 
thanked  him  formally  for  all  his  kindnesses,  told  him  I  must  go, 
and  retired.  It  was  necessary,  at  least,  to  make  the  attempt, 
although  it  was  then  eight  o'clock.  I  left  all  the  luggage  in  the 
charge  of  Mr.  Hutchison,  except  two  portmanteaus,  the  sextant, 
and  the  box  containing  my  papers.  We  had  scarcely  proceeded 
fifty  3'ards  before  the  gong-gongs  and  drums  were  beat  all  around  us, 
and  we  were  attacked  by  a  crowd  of  swords  and  muskets,  headed 
by  our  house  master  Aboidwee,  who  in  the  first  rush  seized  the 
luggage  and  the  flag.  I  felt  myself  compelled  to  attempt  to  regain 
the  flag ;  and  the  value  of  my  papers,  and  the  impolicy  of  being 
intimidated  by  the  outrage,  were  also  considerations.  I  begged  the 
officers  not  to  draw  their  swords  till  the  last  moment,  and  taking 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  137 

the  muskets,  the  butt  ends  of  which  cleared  our  way  to  the  luggage, 
we  fastened  on  it,  with  the  soldiers,  artisans,  and  our  servants,  who 
supported  us  vigorously.  The  Ashantees  did  not  attempt  to  fire, 
but  attacked  us  only  with  their  heavy  swords  and  large  stones. 
We  kept  our  ground  nearly  a  quarter  of  an  hour,  though  our  belts 
^nd  caps  were  torn  away,  and  we  frequently  fell.  At  this  time, 
Mr.  Tedlie  (who  had  regained  his  sword,  which  had  been  torn  from 
his  side)  was  stunned  by  a  blow  on  the  head,  and  as  all  were  much 
bruised,  and  some  of  the  people  cut,  I  contented  myself  with  the 
recovery  of  the  flag,  the  sextant,  and  the  papers,  and  we  retired 
slowly  to  the  house,  not  expecting  they  would  follow  us  ;  but  they 
did  so,  with  a  fury  which  led  me  to  believe  they  intended  our 
destruction.  We  posted  ourselves  in  the  door-way,  and  I  imme- 
diately dispatched  the  canes  by  a  back  way  to  the  King,  to  tell 
him  we  had  not  yet  drawn  our  swords,  but  we  must  do  so  unless 
he  rescued  us  immediately.  The  tumult  did  not  allow  expostula- 
tion, we  had  no  alternative  but  to  defend  ourselves,  which  the 
narrow  passage  favoured.  The  captain,  Aboidwee,  who  was  quite 
mad  with  fury  and  liquor,  made  a  cut  at  me  as  I  held  him  from 
me,  which  would  have  been  fatal  but  for  the  presence  of  mind  of 
one  of  the  soldiers,  through  which  it  only  grazed  my  face.  We 
were  soon  rescued  by  the  presence  of  Adoocee,  the  chief  Imguist, 
and  Yokokroko,  the  King's  chambferlain,  with  their  retinues. 
Nothing  could  exceed  their  servility,  they  offered  to  swear  the 
King  was  not  privy  to  the  outrage,  ordered  Aboidwee  before  them, 
and  threatened  him  with  the  loss  of  his  head.  I  told  them  I  knew 
the  King's  controul,  and  was  not  to  be  treated  as  a  fool ;  he  had 
forcibly  detained  us  as  prisoners,  and  must  take  the  consequences; 
I  should  say  no  more.  They  continued  their  professions  and 
entreaties  upwards  of  an  hour,  and  did  all  they  could  by  their 
menaces  to  Aboidwee,  and  their  deference  to  the  evidence  of  our 

T 


138  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

people,  to  convince  me  of  their  discountenance  of  the  outrage.     I 
divided  the  people  into  watches  for  the  night. 

By  day  light  the  next  morning  all  our  luggage  was  returned,  I 
refused  to  receive  it.  Yokokroko  and  Adoo  Quamina  then  sent  to 
say  they  waited  below  until  we  had  done  breakfast ;  a  long  palaver 
succeeded,  of  the  same  tenour  as  that  of  the  preceding  night. 
About  11  o'clock,  the  linguists,  Adoocee,  Otee,  and  Quancum; 
Yokokroko,  and  a  crowd  of  captains  came  from  the  King  with  a 
present  of  20  ackies,  two  flasks  of  liquor,  and  a  large  hog.  I  asked 
them  if  they  came  to  put  more  shame  on  my  face,  by  brfbing  me 
to  settle  the  great  palaver  they  had  made  the  night  before  with  the 
King  of  England.  They  flattered  and  menaced  by  turns  to  make 
me  take  it,  and  urged,  that  to  refuse  the  King's  present  was  to 
declare  war.  I  persisted  in  refusing  every  thing  short  of  an  inter- 
view with  the  King.  The  Cape  Coast  messengers,  impelled  by 
their  apprehensions  and  their  avarice,  had  the  temerity  to  declare 
at  this  moment,  that  you  had  sent  them  as  a  check  upon  me,  and 
that  they  knew  I  was  not  doing  as  you  wished  in  talking  so  to  the 
King,  and  that  you  would  make  a  palaver  with  me  for  not  waiting 
the  King's  pleasure.  It  w  as  necessary  to  annihilate  the  impression 
of  such  language  immediately.  I  deprived  them  of  their  canes, 
and  threatened  to  put  them  in  irons.  The  King  not  long  after  sent 
his  eunuch  and  followers  to  conduct  us  to  the  palace,  where  he 
had  assembled  the  superior  captains.  We  went  in  plain  clothes, 
alleging  that  we  dared  not  wear  our  uniforms  as  prisoners.  The 
King  said,  I  must  not  say  that ;  he  w-as  my  good  friend,  and  would 
do  me  right ;  he  did  not  think  1  would  have  tried  to  go  without 
his  leave,  and  never  meant  his  people  to  fight  with  us,  he  Avould 
give  me  the  heads  of  all  those  who  led  them  on,  and  beg  me  him- 
self for  the  rest,  as  I  begged  him  for  Quamina  Bootaqua ;  he  never 
begged  any  body  before ;  he  did  not  send  the  gold,  as  I  thought. 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  139 

he  sent  it  to  pay  for  any  thing  the  people  had  spoiled,  and  meant 
to  do  us  right  all  the  same ;  it  would  break  his  heart  if  the  King 
of  England  heard  he  had  used  his  officers  ill,  and  if  I  liked  him,  I 
must  settle  the  palaver  easy. 

Of  course  I  would  not  hear  of  any  heads  being  cut  off,  though 
they  all  pressed  it  repeatedly,  and  doubtless  would  not  have 
regarded  sacrificing  a  few  inferior  captains  to  varnish  their  allega- 
tion ;  yet,  I  must  declare,  it  is  my  firm  opinion,  and  it  is  supported 
by  the  evidence  of  our  private  friends,  that  the  King  and  his  prin- 
cipal men  merely  intended  Abo'idwee  to  stop  us,  by  placing  his 
numbers  before  us  and  pleading  the  King's  orders,  not  dreaming 
of  any  outrage,  or  that  the  impetuosity  of  this  man,  irritated  by 
the  loss  of  his  retainer  at  Cape  Coast,*  would  hurry  him  to  order 
his  soldiers  to  assault  us  :  he  has  not  an  atom  of  influence ;  but  the 
King  selected  him  as  a  near  relative  of  his  own,  to  succeed  to 
Bakkee's  stool,  to  which  1700  men  are  attached :  the  King  re- 
peatedly offered  me  his  head.  To  resume,  the  King  requested  us 
to  drink  with  him,  and  then  to  shake  hands,  begged  us  to  resume 
our  uniforms,  and  ordered  his  own  people  to  attend  \is  at  our 
house.  I  renewed  the  subject  of  our  departure.  The  King  said 
this  was  a  bad  week,  and  he  did  not  like  us  to  go  in  it,  he  would 
thank  me  very  much  to  stay  till  Monday,  and  then  he  could  get  a 
proper  present  ready.  Sunday  too  was  the  Adai  custom,  and  then 
I  must  put  Mr.  Hutchison's  hand  in  Adoocee's,  and  Adoocee  place 
it  in  his,  and  he  would  promise  to  take  proper  care  of  him  before 
all  the  captains.  Odumata  and  Adoocee  came  forward  to  give  me 
their  hands,  as  a  pledge  of  their  responsibility.  I  said  I  could 
receive  no  one's  hand  but  the  King's  on  such  an  occasion,  but  I 
ordered  Quashie  Apaintree  to  do  so,  and  it  was  sworn  to.  The 
King  then  said  Adoocee  had  told  him  the  Cape  Coast  messengers 
*  The  man  who  hung  himself. 


140  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

had  tried  to  put  shame  on  my  face — he  was  very  angry  with  them — 
they  ought  to  know  God  made  white  man's  head  better  than  black 
man's,  and  they  must  come  before  him,  and  put  iny  foot  on  their 
heads.  I  tokl  him,  I  coukl  not  let  any  one  do  so,  but  I  sent  for 
their  canes,  and  entrusted  them  to  them  again,  with  a  suitable 
reprimand.  The  King  then  begged  me  to  receive  his  present, 
which  I  did,  giving  the  people  the  hog  and  liquor,  they  had 
received  another  on  the  Friday  before,  which  the  King  sent  me, 
with  39  yams. 

I  have  observed  that  the  Government's  anxiety  for  the  force  of 
the  Treaty,  and  for  the  Residency,  has  heightened  in  proportion 
to  the  indifference  I  have  affected.  I  consider  the  aflkir  of  yester- 
day to  have  perfected  the  impression  of  our  spirit.  I  certainly 
would  not  think  of  leaving  any  but  an  ofhcer  of  the  most  consi- 
derate conduct  as  a  Resident,  and,  I  beheve,  Mr.  Hutchison,  by 
tempering  his  spirit  with  judgment,  may  safely  realize  the  objects 
of  the  situation;  if,  however,  on  my  return,  you  consider  I  have 
left  him  in  a  precarious  situation,  I  volunteer  my  services  to  replace 
him,  and  deliberately  to  retire  the  Residency. 

It  occurs  to  me,  the  Amissa  palaver  may  possibly  be  the  design 
of  this  interval,  if  it  should,  you  may  rely  on  my  remaining  resolute 
on  the  subject. 

I  am,  &c. 

•  (Signed)  T.  EDWARD  BOWDICH. 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  141 

Coomassie,  Sept.  181 7. 
To  William  Hutchison,  Esquire,  British  Residetit. 
Sir, 
I  AM  directed   by  the  Governor  in   Chief  to  leave  you  written 
instructions  for  your  future  government. 

The  conviction  of  the  honour  and  justice  of  our  public  negotia- 
tions, having  procured  us  a  footing  in  opposition  to  the  arts 
which  have  been  practised  upon  the  suspicion  of  the  natives,  your 
conduct  is  looked  to,  with  confidence,  to  support  it,  by  originating 
an  opinion  of  our  nioral  character,  equally  auspicious  to  the  bene- 
volent views  of  the  British  Government.  The  simplicity  of  our 
religion,  tolerating  the  calumny  of  the  Moors,  that  Ave  are  destitute 
of  any,  you  will  have  the  satisfaction  of  perfecting  the  confutation, 
by  a  regular  retirement  to  its  duties,  and  by  the  practice  of  that 
benevolence  and  forbearance,  equally  congenial  to  the  policy 
prescribed  to  us. 

It  would  be  premature,  as  well  as  dangerous,  to  direct  any  other 
than  the  tacit  reproof  of  your  own  conduct  and  sentiments,  to  the 
cruelties  consecrated  by  the  superstitions  of  the  Ashantees ;  you 
must  be  content  to  avoid  the  countenance  of  them  by  your  pre- 
sence, by  adhering  to  the  plea  of  the  repugnance  of  your  religion. 
This  conduct,  associated  with  a  humanity  always  inclining  you  to 
induce  mercy,  whenever  the  offence,  or  prudence,  may  admit  of 
an  interference,  will  propitiate  your  own  wishes,  and  the  expec- 
tations of  the  Government. 

The  friendship  and  respect  which  the  King,  and  the  superior 
captains  have  manifested,  will  not  only  be  preserved,  but  strength- 
ened, by  a  dignified  deportment,  and  a  considerate  use  of  the 
private  intercourse  these  feelings  have  established  ;  and  you  will 
cultivate  the  frequent  opportunities  of  instilling  into  their  minds, 


]42  MISSION  TO  ASHA.NTEE. 

that  education  originated  the  pre-eminence  of  Europeans;  and 
that  peace  is  most  auspicious  to  the  greatness  of  a  Nation,  direct- 
ing all  its  powers  to  commerce  and  the  arts,  and  thereby  founding 
its  superior  comfort,  prosperity,  and  embellishment.     Thc^  power 

^and  resources  of  your  own  country  should  be  quoted  to  illustrate 
this  truth ;  and  you  will  impress  that  it  is  the  experience  of  it, 
which  has  imposed  the  benevolent  anxiety  of  the  British  Govern- 
ment, to  improve  the  condition  of  the  people  of  Africa,  through 
the  legitimate  medium  of  commerce.  This  impression  you  will 
extend,  deliberately,  to  the  visitors  from  other  kingdoms,  particu- 
larly to  those  from  the  Sarem  and  Mallowa  countries. 

In  encouraging  the  trade  with  the  Coast,  your  measures  must 
disprove  any  view  but  that  of  a  fair  competition ;  and  your  vigi- 
lance of  the  British  interests  must  be  distinct  from  any  thing  hke 
jealousy,  suspicion,  or  intermeddling :  you  will  act  as  the  advocate 
of  the  views  of  Europe,  but  not  allow  any  interference  to  be 
imposed  on  you,  without  the  sanction  of  the  Governor  in  Chief, 
whose  letters  will  be,  exclusively,  attended  to,  and  to  whom  you 
will  candidly  communicate  any  circumstance  or  reflection,  affect- 
ing our  new  connection. 

You  will  repress,  rather  than  encourage  the  disposition  of  the 
King  and  the  Council,  to  detect  imposition  through  your  assist- 
ance, by  contining  your  justifications,  as  much  as  possible,  to 
public  transactions ;  for  although  the  Government  is  gratified  by 

.  it,  it  may  tend  to  make  the  Residency  unpopular,       ..^ 

I  enclose  you  a  copy  of  the  Treaty,  and  particularly  direct  your 
attention  to  the  4th  article,  which  authorizes  you  to  submit  to 
every  thing  like  a  mediation,  separable  from  responsibility,  to  the 
discussion  of  the  Governor  in  Chief,  for  the  sake  of  peace  and 
humanity  ;  but  you  Avill  do  this,  invariabl}^,  with  diffidence  ;  with- 
out betraying  any  sanguine  expectations. 


MISSION  TO  ASIIANTEE.  143 

You  will  be  more  sensible  to  insult  than  injury ;  and  the  most 
politic  conduct  will  be,  to  declare  that  the  British  Government 
exacts  from  all  its  officers,  on  pain  of  disgrace,  a  firm  repulse  of 
the  former ;  and  that  they  dare  not  admit  the  influence  of  their 
private  feelings,  as  in  the  latter  case. 

I  leave  you  in  possession  of  the  esteem  of  the  King,  and  the 
friendship  of  the  superior  Captains,  and  with  every  thing  favour- 
able to  the  objects  of  the  Residency  ;  but,  should  any  caprice  in 
the  Government  make  you  invidious  to  any  thing  like  a  parly,  or 
diminish  their  respect,  you  will  immediately  address  the  Governor 
in  Chief,  who  will  order  your  presence  at  Head  Quarters.  Another 
important  consideration  will  be  your  health ;  also  the  character  of 
the  captain  who  may  be  left  in  charge  of  the  capital,  should  the 
King  go  himself  to  the  Buntooko  war.  Your  personal  safety  is 
out  of  the  question  at  present,  but  should  the  least  doubt  arise  in 
your  own  mind  hereafter,  you  must  consult  the  Governo/s  solici- 
tude, rather  than  your  own  spirit. 

You  see  the  necessity  of  keeping  in  Avith  the  Moors  ;  the  flatter- 
ing their  inteUigence  is  most  conducive  to  this,  and  also  elicits 
valuable  information. 

I  shall  afford  you  a  perusal  of  the  dispatch  of  the  Committee, 
and  the  instructions  of  the  Governor  in  Chief,  to  perfect  the 
present. 

I  have  directed  Mr.  Tedlie  to  leave  you  a  supply  of  medicines, 
and  you  will  i&ke  charge  of  the  Resident's  flag. 

I  am.  Sir, 
your  most  obedient  Servant, 
(Signed)  T.  EDWARD  BOWDICIL 


144  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Baba  had  a  great  number  of  Arabic  manuscripts ;  I  have  pre- 
served a  leaf  finely  illuminated.  Apokoo  astonished  us  by  offering 
to  lend  us  some  books  to  read  ;  he  shewed  us  two  French  volumes 
on  geography,  a  Dutch  bible,  a  volume  of  the  Spectator,  and  a 
Dissuasion  from  Popery,  1620.  It  was  gratifying  to  recollect  that 
this  chief,  now  become  so  much  attached  to  us,  was  the  man 
mentioned  in  our  early  dispatches  as  snatching  Mr.  Tedlie's  sword 
from  him,  on  the  declaration  of  war,  to  make  his  oath  against  us 
the  more  inveterate.  Telling  the  King  one  day  that  Mr.  Hutchi- 
son's and  Mr.  Tedlie's  countries,  Scotland  and  Ireland,  were 
formerly  distinct  from  mine,  he  begged  directly  to  hear  specimens 
of  the  different  languages,  and  was  reluctantly  persuaded  that  it 
was  the  policy  of  England  to  get  rid  of  all  national  distinctions 
between  her  subjects,  Apokoo  was  very  fond  of  scribbhng,  and 
with  a  smile  frequently  begged  to  know  what  he  had  written. 
They  could  not  comprehend  how  any  hieroglyphic  that  was  not  a 
picture,  could  express  an  object.  My  name,  said  the  King,  is  not 
like  me.  He  was  rather  uneasy  at  my  sketching ;  the  Moors,  he 
hinted,  had  insinuated  that  I  could  place  a  spell  on  the  buildings 
I  drew.  I  told  him,  without  drawings,  the  people  in  England 
could  not  be  convinced  that  I  had  visited  him ;  he  appeared 
satisfied,  and  begged  to  be  drawn  handsome. 

There  are  only  four  direct  descendants  now  living  of  the  noble 
families  which  accompanied  the  emigration  of  Sai  Tootoo,  the 
founder  of  the  Ashantee  monarchy ;  none  of  them  are  wealthy, 
and  Assaphi,  who  is  one,  is  a  beggar,  wandering  in  the  bush, 
having  been  disgraced  from  the  highest  favour,  for  the  following 
fraud.  An  old  linguist  of  the  former  King's  (Sai  Quamina)  having 
died  at  a  distant  croom,  the  King,  according  to  custom,  sent 
Assaphi  with  four  periguins  of  gold,  and  a  quantity  of  expensive 
cloths  and  mats  to  bury  him;  Assaphi  kept  the  gold,  and  i>ubsti- 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  145 

tuted  inferior  cloths  of  his  own.  The  wife  urged  the  great  and 
zealous  services  of  her  husband  to  Sai  Quamina,  and  her  indigna- 
tion at  such  a  mean  acknowledgment  as  the  King  had  sent. 
Assaphi  returned,  reported  her  gratitude,  and  that  every  thing  had 
been  handsomely  done,  to  the  credit  of  the  King.  The  Avife 
privately  dug  up  the  cloths  buried  with  the  corpse,  and  suspecting 
the  fraud,  secretly  conveyed  them  to  the  King,  with  a  full  account. 
The  King  sent  for  Assaphi  and  again  enquiring  the  particulars, 
with  seeming  indifference,  suddenly  required  him  to  swear  to  the 
tVuth,  which  he  advanced  to  do,  when  the  King  said  no  !  you  must 
not  swear,  and  the  woman  was  immediately  discovered  to  him  with 
all  the  cloths.  He  then  confessed  the  particulars,  was  stripped  of 
every  thing,  and  is  now  the  more  despised  for  not  killing  himself; 
and  the  King  could  not  put  him  to  death,  as  the  direct  descendant 
of  one  of  Sai  Tootoo's  peers.  Part  of  the  King's  reproach  to  him 
was  curious :  "  my  brother's  linguist  did  him  great  good,  so  when 
he  and  my  brother,  who  now  live  with  God,  make  God  recollect  all, 
and  tell  him  the  shame  you  put  on  him  for  me,  in  so  burying  him, 
God  will  kill  me." 

A  man  and  a  woman  were  beheaded  on  the  17th  of  this  month, 
for  an  intrigue :  the  woman  was  very  handsome,  and  the  wife  of  a 
captain :  on  their  being  suspected,  both  were  ordered  to  drink 
doom,  which  choking  them,  they  were  immediately  executed. 
The  King's  sister  sent  for  Mr.  Tedlie  to  go  and  see  her,  he  enquired 
into  her  complaint  and  recommended  some  medicine,  Avhich  she 
very  thankfully  agreed  to  take ;  he  prepared  some  for  her,  and 
went  to  give  her  the  proper  directions ;  upon  which,  she  handed 
the  cup  to  her  husband,  who  beginning  to  swallow  it  very  fast, 
Mr.  Tedlie  stopped  him,  and  said  he  had  only  prepared  sufficient 
for  one  person;  the  lady  replied,  "  let  him  drink  this  to  day,  and 
I  can  have  more  to-morrow  "  he  told  her  that  he  had  very  little 

u 


146  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

medicine,  and  could  not  afford  to  give  it  to  people  that  were  in 
good  health  :  she  did  not  appear  pleased  with  this  reasoning.  A 
man  of  Assiminia,  who  had  received  medicine  and  advice  from 
Mr.  Tedlie  on  our  march  up,  sent  him  a  third  present  about  this 
time,  of  fruit,  vegetables,  and  wild  deer,  with  the  account  that  he 
was  quite  well. 

Apokoo  enquired  very  anxiously,  why  the  King  of  England  had 
not  sent  one  of  his  sons  with  the  presents  to  the  King  of  Ashantee. 
He  said  he  had  himself  conquered  five  nations,  during  the  present 
and  the  preceding  reign,  and  he  named  twenty  one  nations  which 
now  paid  tribute  to  Ashantee;  but  he  added,  there  were  three 
countries  which  would  not;  two  eastward,  and  one  to  the  north- 
west ;  each  of  those  eastward  had  defeated  the  Ashantees ;  the  one 
north-westward,  on  the  King  sending  for  tribute,  desired  that  he 
would  come  and  take  it,  and  afterwards  entirely  destroyed  an 
Ashantee  army. 


Akrqfrocm,  Sept.  26,  1817. 

John  Hope  Smith,  Esq.  Governor  in  Chief,  &c.  &c.  &c. 
Sir, 

The  King  only  availed  himself  of  our  detention  to  introduce  us  to 
fresh  ceremonies,  and  to  augment  the  testimonies  of  his  friendship. 
The  Amissa  palaver  was  not  attempted,  and  nothing  like  design 
has  disclosed  itself. 

On  the  Monday  there  was  a  general  assembly  of  the  caboceers 
and  captains,  the  King  of  Dwabin  being  present,  with  his  linguists, 
also  several  Dagwumba  caboceers,  and  the  Moorish  dignitaries. 
The  King  announced  the  execution  of  the  Treaty  by  himself  and 
the  deputies,  and  impressed,  in  a  long  speech  through  his  linguists, 
that  he  would  visit  the  least  offence  against  it  with  the  greatest 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  147 

severity.  I  was  then  requested  to  read  it  for  the  last  time,  and  the 
King's  dupUcate  was  executed  in  a  similar  manner. 

In  the  evening,  the  King  gave  us  our  last  audience  before  all  his 
superior  captains  :  a  letter  was  dictated,  which  I  shall  present  to 
you  on  my  arrival ;  and  Adoocee,  the  chief  linguist,  was  formally 
deputed  to  receive  Mr.  Hutchison's  hand  from  me,  and  to  place  it 
in  the  King's,  who  received  it  with  a  solemn  avowal  of  his  respon- 
sibility for  the  charge.  The  linguist  then  presented  from  the  King, 
To  the  Government,  four  boys  for  education. 
To  the  British  Museum,  six  specimens  of  the  goldsmith's  work. 
(I  had  interested  the  King,  by  my  account  of  this  national  repo- 
sitory.) 

To  the  Governor  in  Chief,  one  boy,  one  girl,  to  be  brought  up 
in  his  service. 

To  Mr.  Bowdich,  one  boy,  one  girl,  and  2  oz.  6  ac.  of  gold. 

Mr.  Tedlie,  one  boy,  and  1  oz.  4  ac.  of  gold. 

Accra  linguist,  one  cloth,      -      10  ditto. 

Cape  Coast  linguists,  two  cloths,  10  ditto. 

De  Graaff's  messenger,       -        10  ditto. 

The  officers  servants,     -         -     10  ditto. 

The  soldiers,         -  -  10  ditto. 

I  afterwards  received  a  Sarem  cloth  and  some  trifles  as  a  further 
dash  from  Apokoo ;  one  sheep,  &c.  &c.  from  Baba  the  chief  of  the 
Moors ;  and  15  ackies  of  gold  from  the  King's  linguists,  with  their 
acknowledgments  of  my  firmness  during  the  negotiation. 

The  King  having  a  palaver  at  present  with  the  Warsaws, 
objected  so  strongly  to  our  returning  through  their  territory,  that 
after  one  or  two  attempts  to  over-rule  his  apprehensions,  I  found  it 
would  be  imprudent  to  persevere  in  the  wish,  although  the  disap- 
pointment was  great ;  the  King  assured  me  the  Warsaw  path  was 
two  days  longer,  and  that  he  will  not  spare  any  labour  on  that  of 


148  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Assin  directly  after  the  Avar.    I  had  permission  to  go  some  miles  on 
the  Warsaw  path,  to  convince  myself  of  its  neglected  condition. 

The  King's  favorite  son  (a  child  about  five  years  old)  whom  he 
had  dressed  in  our  uniform  for  the  occasion,  was  so  alarmed  at  the 
idea  of  being  given  over  to  us,  that  the  King's  feelings  obliged  him 
to  promise  me  that  he  would  send  the  children  after  me ;  he  is  too 
jealous  of  the  advantages  to  allow  those  of  his  great  men  to  parti- 
cipate, until  his  own  family  are  first  distinguished  by  them. 

The  King  supplied  me  with  bearers,  and  pressed  me  to  take  six 
hammock  men  in  case  of  sickness ;  he  would  not  hear  of  pay  for 
any,  and  persisted  in  appointing  one  of  his  captains  to  take  care 
of  us.  He  yielded  the  point  of  an  escort  reluctantly,  which  I  had 
combated  from  the  consideration  of  the  expense  of  a  present  to 
such  a  number.  The  King  requested  me  on  taking  leave,  to  wait 
a  short  time  until  his  captains  had  distributed  the  powder  to  salute 
as  on  our  departure,  and  it  being  then  dark,  to  proceed  no  further 
than  a  small  croom  just  beyond  the.  marsh,  where  the  people 
should  join  us  in  the  morning.  The  King  and  his  captains  were 
seated  by  torch  light  with  all  their  insignia,  without  the  palace, 
and  we  quitted  the  capital,  preceded  by  the  King's  banners,  dis- 
charges of  musketry,  and  every  flattering  distinction  that  could  be 
thought  of. 

The  King  has  provided  one  of  the  best  houses  for  Mr.  Hutchi- 
son, very  superior  to  any  we  could  have  raised  at  so  short  a  notice, 
and  has  anticipated  every  thing  to  make  him  comfortable,  and 
respected  ;  nothing  could  be  more  considerate  or  kind,  than  his 
speech  to  him  on  my  taking  leave. 

A  messenger  of  the  King  of  Dwabin's  accompanies  me  for  a 
suit  of  our  uniform  for  the  King's  wear,  which  I  could  not  refuse. 

I  am,  &c.  &c. 

(Signed)  T.  EDWARD  BOWDICH. 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  149 

Coomassie,  September  22,  I8I7. 

Sai  Tootoo   Quamina,   King  of  Ashantee,  ^c.  to  John   Hope 
Smith,  Esquire,  Governor  in  Chief,  ^-c.  Sfc,  Sj-c. 

Sir, 

We  are  from  this  time  forth  good  friends,  and  I  shall  send  all  the 
trade  I  can  to  Cape  Coast  Castle,  and  I  hope  that  you  will  by  and 
by  have  confidence  in  my  word. 

I  beg  you  will  send  my  best  compliments  to  the  King  of  Eng- 
land, and  accept  them  yourself,  in  proof  of  my  satisfaction  of  the 
purposes  of  the  Embassy,  and  its  happy  termination. 

You  will  call  all  the  Fantee  caboceers  before  you,  and  impress 
the  importance  of  the  Treaty,  and  exact  their  respect  of  it,  as  I 
have  from  all  my  great  men  and  caboceers. 

I  hope  you  will  always  act  towards  me  as  a  friend,  and  I  shall 
always  be  ready  to  protect  and  support  the  British  interests. 

I  wish  you  health  and  happiness,  and  all  my  captains  send  their 

best  compliments  to  you, 

1  am.  Sir, 

your  sincere  friend. 

The  mark  >i  of  Sai  Tootoo  Quamina. 
Present, 

W.  Hutchison. 

Henry  Tedlie. 

I  will  thank  you  to  impress  on  the  King  of  England  that  I  have 
sworn  not  to  renew  the  Avar  with  the  Fantees,  out  of  respect  to 
him,  and  1  shall  consider  them  as  his  people.  I  hope  therefore  he 
will,  in  turn,  consider  if  he  cannot  renew  the  Slave  Trade,  Avhich 
will  be  good  for  me. 


^ 


150  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

I  hope  the  King  of  England  will  now  let  all  foreign  vessels  come 
to  the  coast  to  trade,  and  you  must  say  that  the  path  is  now  clear 
to  do  as  much  English  trade  as  your  supplies  will  allow. 


The  following  letter  was  sent  after  me,  to  Doompassie. 

Coomassie,  2Zd  September,  1817. 

John  Hope  Smith,  Esq.  Governor  in  Chief,  &c.  &c.  &c. 

Sir, 

The  King  of  Ashantee  desires  me  to  request  you  will  write  to  all 
the  Governors  of  English  forts,  on  the  African  coast,  to  order  the 
caboceers  of  each  town,  to  send  a  proper  person  to  Cape  Coast, 
and  that  you  will  add  one  messenger  yourself;  that  they  may  all 
proceed  to  Coomassie  to  take  the  King's  fetish  in  his  presence, 
that  none  may  plead  ignorance  of  the  Treaty  concluded  between  his 
Majesty  and  the  British  nation. 

The  King  wishes  me  to  express,  that  he  is  fully  satisfied  with 
the  objects  of  the  Mission,  and  that  the  Treaty  may  be  read  by 
me  to  all  the  Fantee  deputies  you  may  send  for  that  purpose. 

I  am,  &c.  &c. 
(Signed)  W.  HUTCHISON. 


My  last  private  letters  from  Cape  Coast  Castle  had  imposed  the 
most  painful  anxiety  ;  the  two  lives  naturally  beyond  all  others  the 
dearest  to  me,  were  imminently  endangered  by  the  seasoning  illness 
of  the  country  ;  one  yielded  to  it  before  1  could  arrive,  yet,  under 
all  the  impatience  of  my  affliction,  1  must  confess,  Avhen  I  took 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  151 

the  King's  hand  for  the  last  time,  when  I  reflected  on  the  benevo- 
lence, the  solicitude,  and  the  generosity  I  had  exeprienced  whilst 
my  life  was  in  his  hands,  affected  by  the  most  untoward  and 
irritating  political  circumstances,  by  the  aggravated  suspicions  of 
his  chiefs,  and  by  the  poisonous  jealousy  of  the  Moors,  there  was 
a  painful  gratification  in  the  retrospect,  which  blended  the  wish  to 
linger  another  hour  in  listening  to  acknowledgments  of  esteem  and 
obligation,  more  affecting  than  flattering,  and  enhanced  by  the 
consoling  reflection,  that  they  were  the  natural  emotions  of  one  of 
those  monarchs  we  are  pleased  to  call  barbarians.  Night  was 
coming  on,  but  as  I  had  so  positively  declared  before  the  King 
and  his  council,  on  the  former  occasion,  that  nothing  should  deter 
me  from  keeping  my  word  in  quitting  Coomassie  on  this  day,  it 
would  not  do  to  delay  even  until  the  morning.  A  strict  observance 
of  your  word,  is  every  thing  in  the  eye  of  a  Negro.  The  King 
said,  he  would  not  beg  me  to  stay,  as  I  had  declared  I  dared  not; 
he  would  only  ask  me  to  go  no  further  than  Ogogoo,  that  night, 
and  his  people  should  join  me  early  in  the  morning.  Our  exit  was 
a  brilliant  scene,  from  the  reflection  of  the  glittering  ornaments  of 
the  King  and  his  captains  by  the  torches ;  they  were  seated  in  a 
deep  and  long  line,  without  the  palace,  accompanied  by  their 
retinues ;  all  their  bands  burst  forth  together,  as  we  saluted  the 
King  in  passing,  and  we  were  enveloped  in  the  smoke  of  the 
musketry.  The  darkness  of  the  forest  was  an  instantaneous  and 
awful  contrast,  and  the  bowlings  and  screeches  of  the  wild  beasts, 
startled  us  as  we  groped  our  way,  as  if  we  had  never  heard  them 
before.  The  torches  provided  for  our  protection  against  them 
were  extinguished  in  crossing  the  marsh,  Avhich  had  swollen  to 
between  four  and  five  feet  deep,  and  the  descent  to  it  from  Coo- 
massie was  rocky  and  abrupt.  The  linguists  and  soldiers  lost 
themselves  in  the  forest,  and  did  not  arrive  at  Ogogoo  until  long 


152  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

after  Mr.  Tedlie  and  myself.  The  inhabitants  were  asleep,  but 
they  rose  cheerfully,  cleared  the  best  house  for  us,  and  made  firesJ 
The  next  morning  I  received  the  dash  of  gold  from  the  King's 
linguists,  in  a  Mallowa  bag,  with  a  long  compliment ;  the  conclu- 
sion of  which  was,  that  I  must  always  be  ready  to  use  the  same 
spirit  and  address,  in  talking  a  palaver  for  the  King  of  Ashantee, 
as  I  had  shewn  in  talking  that  of  my  own  King.  This  testimony 
of  their  good  feeling  and  esteem,  which  they  could  not  avow  whilst 
we  were  political  antagonists,  was  grateful. 

Marching  through  Sarrasoo,  where  we  were  liberally  refreshed 
with  palm  wine,  we  halted  in  the  evening  at  Assiminia,  We  were 
received  with  great  hospitality  by  the  principal  man,  who  provided 
us  with  excellent  lodging,  to  his  own  inconvenience,  and  presented 
us  with  some  fowls.  The  path  was  almost  a  continued  bog,  for  the 
rainy  season  had  set  in  violently.  The  next  day  we  marched 
through  Dadasey  to  Doompassie,  and  occupied  our  former  com- 
fortable dwelling.  One  party  spent  the  night  in  the  woods. 
Thursday  morning,  the  6th,  we  had  a  short  but  most  fatiguing 
march  over  the  mountains  dividing  the  frontiers,  to  Moisee,  the  first 
Assin  town.  The  difficulty  of  procuring  provisions  until  the  people 
returned  from  the  plantations,  detained  us  in  Moisee  until  four 
o'clock  in  the  evening.  As  the  stage  from  Doompassie  had  been 
short,  (although  fatiguing)  I  determined  to  proceed  to  Akrofroom, 
as  we  should  gain  a  day  by  it.  The  Ashantees  remonstrated, 
knowing  the  swollen  stale  of  the  several  small  rivers,  and  the 
aggravated  difficulties  of  the  path  from  the  heavy  rain ;  but  I  was 
so  apprehensive  of  being  detained,  by  their  pleading  their  super- 
stitious observance  of  good  and  bad  days  for  travelling,  that  I  was 
afraid  of  seeming  to  yield  to  them,  lest  it  might  encourage  the  dis- 
position. I  recommended  them  to  go  back,  and  started  without 
them,  but  they  were  soon  at  my  heels,  declaring,  they  should  lose 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.         _  153 

their  heads  if  they  quitted  us.  Mr.  Tedhe,  myself,  a  soldier,  and 
the  Ashantee  next  in  authority  under  the  captain,  outwalked  the 
rest  of  the  party,  and  found  ourselves  out  of  their  hearing  when  it 
grew  dark.  We  lost  some  time  in  trying  to  make  torches  to  keep 
off  the  beasts,  and  to  direct  us  in  the  right  track,  for  we  were 
walking  through  a  continued  bog,  and  had  long  before  lost  our 
shoes.  A  violent  tornado  ushered  in  the  night,  we  could  not  hear 
each  other  holla,  and  were  soon  separated  ;  luckily  I  found  I  had 
one  person  left  with  me  (the  Ashantee)  who,  after  I  had  groped 
him  out,  tying  his  cloth  tight  round  his  middle,  gave  me  the  other 
end,  and  thus  plunged  along,  pulling  me  after  him,  through  bogs 
and  rivers,  exactly  like  an  owl  tied  to  a  duck  in  a  pond.  The 
thunder,  the  darkness,  and  the  howlings  of  the  wild  beasts  were 
awful,  but  the  loud  and  continuing  crash  of  a  large  tree,  which  fell 
very  near  us  during  the  storm,  was  even  more  so  to  my  ear.  The 
Ashantee  had  dragged  me  along,  or  rather  through,  in  this  manner 
until  I  judged  it  to  be  midnight,  when,  quite  exhausted,  with  the 
remnants  of  my  clothes  scarcely  hanging  together,  I  let  go  his 
clothj  and  falling  on  the  ground,  was  asleep  before  I  could  call  out 
to  him.  I  was  awoke  by  this  faithful  guide,  who  had  felt  me  out, 
and  seated  me  on  the  trunk  of  a  tree,  with  my  head  resting  on  his 
shoulder ;  he  gave  me  to  understand  I  must  die  if  I  sat  there,  and 
we  pursued  the  duck  and  owl  method  once  more.  In  an  hour 
we  forded  the  last  river,  which  had  swollen  considerably  above  my 
chin,  and  spread  to  a  great  width.  This  last  labour  I  considered 
final,  and  my  drowsiness  became  so  fascinating,  that  it  seemed  to 
beguile  me  of  every  painful  thought  and  apprehension,  and  the 
yielding  to  it  was  an  exquisite,  though  momentary  pleasure.  I 
presume  I  must  have  slept  above  an  hour,  hfted  by  this  humane 
man  from  the  bank  of  the  river  to  a  drier  corner  of  the  forest, 
more  impervious  to  the  torrents  of  rain  ;  when,  being  aAvoke,  I  was 

X 


154  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

surprised  to  see  him  with  a  companion  and  a  torch ;  he  took  me 
on  his  back,  and  in  about  three  quarters  of  an  hour  we  reached 
Akrofroom.  This  man  knew  I  carried  about  me  several  ounces  of 
gokl,  for  the  subsistence  of  the  people,  not  trusting  to  our  luggage, 
which  we  could  not  reckon  on  in  such  a  season  and  journey. 
Exhausted  and  insensible,  my  life  was  in  his  hands,  and  infested 
as  the  forest  was  Avith  wild  beasts,  he  might  after  such  a  night, 
without  suspicion,  have  reported  me  as  destroyed  by  them ;  this 
had  occurred  to  me,  and  was  an  uneasy  feeling  as  long  as  my 
torpor  left  me  any.  It  was  about  two  o'clock  in  the  morning,  and 
the  inhabitants  of  Akrofroom  were  almost  all  asleep,  for  it  was  too 
rude  a  night  for  Negro  revelry  ;  however,  I  was  directly  carried  to 
a  dry  and  clean  apartment,  furnished  with  a  brass  pan  full  of  water 
to  wash  in,  some  fruits  and  palm  wine,  an  excellent  bed  of  mats 
and  cushions,  and  an  abundance  of  country  cloths  to  wrap  around 
me,  for  I  was  all  but  naked.  After  I  had  washed,  I  rolled  myself 
up  in  the  cloths,  one  after  the  other,  until  I  became  a  gigantic 
size,  and  by  a  profuse  perspiration  escaped  any  other  ill  than  a 
slight  fever.  A  soldier  came  up  about  mid-day,  and  gave  me 
some  hopes  of  seeing  Mr.  Tedlie  again,  who  arrived  soon  after- 
wards, having  left  his  companions  in  a  bog,  waiting  until  he  sent 
them  assistance  from  the  town.  Our  gratification  was  mutual,  for 
the  only  trace  he  had  had  of  me  was  by  no  means  an  encouraging 
one ;  my  servant  meeting  an  Ashantee  in  the  forest  with  fragments  of 
my  clothes,  which  he  persisted  he  had  not  taken  from  any  person, 
but  picked  up  on  his  Avay.  Mr.  Tedlie  (whose  feet  were  cut  and 
bruised  much  more  than  mine,  and  whose  wretched  plight  made 
him  envy  the  African  toga  I  had  assumed)  after  we  had  separated, 
and  the  storm  had  drowned  our  mutual  hollaings,  the  howlings  of 
the  wild  beasts  meeting  his  ears  on  all  sides,  had  just  determined 
to  roost  in  a  tree  for  the  night,  when  an  Ashantee  appeared  with  a 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  155 

torch,  and  conducted  him  out  of  the  track  to  the  remains  of  a 
shed,  where  four  or  five  of  the  people  had  before  strayed  and 
settled  themselves.  Another  party  arrived  at  Akrofroom  about 
four  o'clock,  and  the  last,  with  the  Cape  Coast  linguist  and  the 
corporal,  not  until  sun  set ;  they  had  lost  the  track  altogether,  and 
spent  the  whole  day,  as  well  as  the  previous  night,  in  the  woods. 
We  made  an  excellent  duck  soup,  our  grace  to  which  was,  "  what 
a  luxury  to  poor  Mungo  Park ;"  the  name  recalled  sufferings  which 
made  us  laugh  at  our  own  as  mere  adventures. 

On  Saturday  the  8th  we  marched  to  Asharamang.  Here  we 
found  great  difficulties  in  getting  provisions  until  the  Ashanlees 
came  up,  for  Quamina  Bwa's  knavery  had  been  ascribed  to  us ; 
and  here,  panyaring  all  we  required,  he  had  not  given  the  inha- 
bitants a  tokoo  of  the  gold.  At  length  we  were  well  supplied  and 
comfortably  lodged.  The  next  day  we  marched  through  Kicki- 
wherree  to  Prasoo,  where  we  occupied  a  good  house,  and  an 
Ashantee  captain  proceeding  on  an  embassy,  dashed  us  a  supply 
of  fowls  and  yams.  We  crossed  the  Boosempra  early  the  next 
morning,  and  thence  began  to  leave  the  rains  behind  us.  Per- 
severing in  making  but  one  journey  of  the  distances  which  occupied 
us  two  and  three  days  going  up,  we  pressed  forward,  passing  by 
our  former  bivouacs  in  the  woods,  scarcely  distinguishable,  until 
we  reached  the  site  of  Accomfodey,  for  only  one  hut  now  re- 
mained ;  the  Avretched  inhabitants  having  deserted  it  in  terror  of 
the  Ashantees.  The  solitary  Fantee  who  occupied  it,  had  the 
address  to  assure  me,  that  I  should  find  much  better  lodging  at 
Ancomassa,  where  we  recollected  to  have  left  some  comfortable 
huts  going  up,  and  we  resolved  to  try  another  stage,  and  were 
recompensed  by  finding  scarcely  a  wreck  of  the  place,  and  some 
tattered  sheds  only  instead  of  the  sound  roof  we  had  quitted.  We 
proceeded  early   the  next  morningj  passed  Foosou,  which  was 


156  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

entirely  deserted,  and  marched  until  we  found  ourselves  at  sun  set 
on  the  banks  of  the  Aniabirrira.    The  people  were  all  behind,  and 
the  Ashantees  coming  up  about  an  hour  afterwards,  informed  us 
they  had  settled  themselves  for  the  night  about  two  hours  walk 
distant.     Unfortunately  we  had  no  flint,  and  after  fasting  all  day, 
we  had  the  mortification  of  losing  our  supper  merely  for  want  of  a 
fire ;  the  wood  was  all  so  wet  that  friction  had  no  effect  on  it,  we 
could  find  no  shelter,  and  a  heavy  rain  set  in  as  it  grew  dark ; 
fatigue  luckily  beguiled  us  of  cold  and  hunger,  and  of  our  appre- 
hensions of  a  visit  from  the  beasts,  who  were  howling  about  the 
banks  of  their  watering  place.     I  wrapped  myself  up  in  the  Inta 
cloth  Apokoo  had  given  me,  and  wet  as  the  ground  was,  I  never 
slept  better.     Hence  the  forest  visibly  declined  in  height  towards 
the  coast.    We   pressed  on   by  day  light,  found   some  excellent 
guavas  to  allay  our  hunger,  and  reaching  Mansue,  made  a  good 
soup  of  our  fowls,  peppers  growing  luxuriantly  all  around  us.    We 
waited  until  we  heard  of  the  people  behind  us,  and  then  proceeded; 
about  five  in  the  evening  I  reached  Cottacoomacasa,  with  the 
Dwabin  messenger  only.    The  place  was  deserted,  and  a  body  of 
Ashantee  traders  had  occupied  the  remaining  shed.     I  would  not 
disturb  them,  but  waiting  until  sun  set  for  Mr.  Tedlie,  I  left  him  a 
supply  of  guavas,  and  proceeded  to  Payntrec.    There  was  a  charm 
in  the  name  of  that  place,  being  but  one  journey  from  the  sea, 
superior  to  the  recollection  of  the  former  night's  adventure.     It 
was  a  brilliant  night,  and  the  dark  gloom  and  hollow  echos  of  the 
long  vistas  of  the  forest,  formed  a  fine  contrast  to  the  extensive 
areas  (sites  of  large  Fantee  crooms  destroyed  by  the  Ashantees) 
into  which  we  frequently  emerged.    The  wild  music  and  cheerful 
revelry  of  the  inhabitants  of  Payntree  stole  upon  my  ear,  and  raised 
the  tone  of  my  spirits  in  proportion  as  the  sounds  strengthened. 
A  loud  and  continued  shout  warned  me  that  I  was  announced  ; 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  157 

torches  and  music  instantly  encircled  me,  and  I  was  conducted  to 
old  Payntree's  residence,  who  had  built  himself  a  new  house 
somewhat  in  the  Ashantee  fashion.  An  excellent  bed  was  pre- 
pared for  me  of  an  accumulation  of  mats  and  country  cloths,  and 
a  famous  supper  of  soups,  stews,  fruit,  and  palm  wine.  Quamina 
Bootaqua  paid  his  respects,  and  old  Payntree,  Amooney  King  of 
Annamaboe,  and  two  or  three  other  caboceers,  unknown  to  me, 
made  a  long  adulatory  speech,  complimenting  my  ability,  bewaihng 
my  hardships,  and  magnifying  their  obhgations.  I  was  requested 
to  seat  myself  on  old  Payntree's  state  stool,  whilst  they  stood 
around  me,  and  he  begged  me  to  listen  to  an  air  composed  by  his 
band  on  the  occasion  of  the  embassy,  and  its  successful  termina- 
tion ;  "  all  would  now  be  well,  and  Fantee  revive  and  flourish."  I 
sat  up  till  midnight,  vainly  expecting  Mr.  Tedlie  and  the  soldiers ; 
they  awoke  me  by  their  arrival  before  sun  rise ;  they  had  passed 
the  night  in  a  sound  hut,  on  the  path,  which  from  the  want  of  a 
torch  had  escaped  my  notice. 

Hearing,  as  I  expected,  that  there  was  a  path  from  Payntree  to 
Cape  Coast  Castle,  avoiding  Annamaboe  (whence  the  Mission  had 
departed),  I  determined  to  explore  it,  and  Payntree  furnished  me 
Avith  a  guide.  The  country  was  beautifully  diversified  with  hill 
and  dale,  but  the  soil  was  generally  lighter  and  more  gravelly  than 
that  between  Annamaboe  and  Payntree.  We  passed  through 
several  groves  of  guava  trees,  and  all  the  other  tropical  fruits 
abounded.  Occasionally  there  were  small  plantations  of  Guinea 
corn,  where  a  few  wretched  Fantees  still  lurked  in  the  ruins  of  the 
crooms  the  Ashantees  had  destroyed.  We  passed  through  eleven 
which  had  been  considerable,  and  now  presented  but  a  few  mud 
houses  scattered  over  extensive  sites.  Their  names  were  Assequah, 
Daooramong,  Amparoo,Taachoo,  Coorikirraboo,Perridjoo,  Abikar- 
rampa,  Aquoitee,  Miensa,  and  Amosima.  The  only  water  was  near 


158  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Auiparoo ;  it  was  a  large  pond  nearly  two  miles  in  circumference, 
and  sixty  yards  broad,  impregnated  with  vegetable  matter.  After 
travelling  15  miles,  we  climbed  some  very  steep  and  rockv  hills, 
apparently  of  iron  stone,  and  descended  into  a  flat  country,  con- 
tinuing until  a  small  rising  about  two  miles  from  Cape  Coast  Castle, 
(which  I  judged  to  be  20  miles  from  Payntree  by  this  ulterior 
path)  opened  the  sea  to  our  view ;  as  delightful  to  our  sight,  as 
land  would  have  been  after  a  prolonged  and  perilous  voyage.  The 
shouts  and  greetings  of  the  natives  were  a  grateful  introduction  to 
the  more  congenial  congratulations  of  our  countrymen. 


MISSION  TO   ASHANTEE 
PART  II. 


ai^^A. 


[   161  ] 


CHAPTER    I. 


Geography. 

1  HE  impression  of  the  Natives  that  we  came  "  to  spy  the  coun- 
try" was  sedulously  strengthened  by  the  Moors,  who  were  actuated 
by  alarm,  jealousy,  and  a  spirit  of  intolerance  unmitigated  by  a 
previous  intercourse  with  Europeans.  I  felt  compelled,  therefore, 
to  suppress  all  curiosity  for  a  considerable  time,  lest  the  anxiety  to 
detect  us  in  geographical  enquiries,  to  make  their  calumny  more 
imposing,  might  have  been  gratified.  Latterly,  when  better  feel- 
ings had  been  induced  through  patience  and  candour,  as  the 
Moorish  charts  and  MSS.  evidence,  the  inaptitude  rather  than  the 
reluctance  of  the  natives,  made  the  shortness  of  our  stay  unaccom- 
modating. I  shall  pass  over  a  mass  of  memoranda  recorded  on 
individual  report,  and  only  select  such,  wherein  Moors  and  natives, 
unknown  to  each  other,  have  agreed  ;  describing  their  travels  in 
their  own  way,  without  my  questions  anticipating  or  directing 
them.  These  routes  and  observations  were  fuither  confirmed  by 
the  evidence  of  children,  recently  arrived  as  slaves  from  the 
various  countries,  whose  artless  replies  decided  my  credence.  It 
may  be  remarked,  that  the  children  of  the  African  Negroes,  early 
accustomed  to  travel  with  their  parents  for  their  convenience  or 
their  assistance,  and  unoccupied  by  the  difficulties  of  incipient 
education,  observe  nature  more  attentively  than  European  children 
of  the  same  age  would  ;  for  they  have  nothing  else  to  think  of,  of 


162  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

to  divert  the  fatigue  of  these  reiterated  trading  journies  :  their 
evidence,  therefore,  was  a  genuine  and  acceptable  check  on  the 
Moorish  and  Negro  adults. 

The  difficulty  of  adjusting  geography  by  investigation  only,  is 
not  diminished  by  the  numerous  small  states,  scarcely  less  frequent 
than  those  of  modem  Italy,  which  we  find  to  compose  this  part  of 
Western  Africa. 

Any  thing  like  observations  of  the  Sun's  place,  during  a  journey, 
seemed  to  be  so  uncommon  to  the  Natives,  and  so  secondary  to 
the  Moors,  from  their  confused  accounts  of  the  occasional  changes, 
that,  after  expending  much  time  to  no  purpose,  I  was  obliged  to 
content  myself  with  placing  the  different  kingdoms  in  the  same 
direction  as  their  several  paths  bore  from  Coomassie,  taking  every 
precaution  to  be  convinced  that  the  paths  did  not  cross  each 
other;  and  afterwards  adjusting  the  positions  by  the  various 
auxiliary  evidence  which  occurred  in  the  general  course  of  my 
enquiries.  I  allow  15  miles  for  each  days  journey  (which,  from 
observation  and  report,  I  have  reason  to  think  is  the  average)  and 
two  thirds  of  the  sum  to  be  made  good  on  the  horizontal  distance, 
as  we  found  this  to  be  nearly  the  case  in  our  journey  from 
Annamaboe  to  Coomassie  ;  the  distance  travelled  being  146  miles, 
Annamaboe  laying  in  5°  4'  N.,  and  1°  43'  W.,  and  the  latitude  of 
Coomassie  being  6°  34' 50"  N. ;  and  the  longitude  2°  11'  W.  by 
the  mean  of  the  observations  of  the  eclipses  of  Jupiter's  1st  and 
2nd  satellites. 

I  procured  the  numerals  of  the  various  countries  whenever  I 
could,  to  assist  future  enquirers. 

There  are  nine  great  paths  leading  from  Coomassie,  the  Dwabin, 
Akim,  Assin,  Warsaw,  Sauee,  Gaman,  Soko,  Daboia,  and 
Sallagha. 

Dwabm  is  not  more  than  three  quarters  of  a  day's  journey 


GEOGRAPHY.  163 

eastward,  from  Coomassie,  by  the  route  No.  1.;  in  which  I  have 
retained  only  the  larger  towns,  omitting  the  villages ;  as  I  shall 
invariably.  The  river  Dah  is  crossed  close  to  the  westward  of 
Dwabin,  and  said  to  be  as  wide  as  we  found  it  at  Sarrasoo.  Two 
journies  beyond  Dwabin  is  a  small  dependent  district  called 
Mohoo.  Several  names,  such  as  Measee,  Marmpon,  Akrofroom, 
tScc,  will  be  found  common  to  different  states,  as  Larissa,  Argos, 
and  Thebes  were  in  antient  Greece. 

There  is  an  eastern  branch  of  the  Akim  path,  entered  immedi- 
ately on  leaving  Coomassie,  to  a  country  called  Quaoo,  northward 
of  Akim,  (of  which  it  seems  formerly  to  have  been  a  district)  and 
adjoining  the  Volta.  Diabbee  is  its  principal  town,  and  the  second 
Wantomoo,  8  journies  from  Coomassie  by  route  No.  2.  The 
latter  is  situated  at  the  foot  of  a  mountain  whence  the  Boosempra 
issues,  with  two  smaller  rivers,  the  Soobirree  and  Sesee,  running 
to  the  Kirradee.  This  district  is  entered  the  3d  day  from 
Coomassie. 

There  are  two  routes  to  Accra  through  Akim,  the  capital  of 
which  is  Bannasoo,  5  journies,  and  the  northern  frontier  town 
Feea,  3  journies  from  Coomassie.  The  easternmost  route  to  Accra 
is  15  journies ;  the  other  is  made  17  journies  to  pass  near  the  lake 
Boosmaquee.  This  lake,  3  journies  from  Coomassie,  was  described 
as  four  miles  long,  and  nearly  three  broad  ;  upwards  of  thirty 
^mall  crooms  were  reckoned  situated  around  it,  supported  by 
fishing  :  the  water  was  said  to  be  unpleasant  to  drink,  and  to  give 
a  reddish  hue  to  the  hair  of  the  people  who  washed  in  it.  Fish 
were  forwarded  thence  daily  for  the  King's  table,  by  relays  of  men. 
It  was  called  the  white  mans  fetish,  there  being  a  popular  super- 
stition, nourished  by  the  Moors,  that  Europeans  were  to  join  it 
with  the  sea,  to  introduce  vessels  for  the  subjugation  of  the  coun- 
try.    Close  to  the  lake  is  a  mountain  called  Quashee  Boposoo, 


164  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

sometimes  seen  clearly  from  Coomassie,  abounding  in  large  black 
stones,  described  as  basaltcs.  By  this  route  (No.  3.)  to  Accra,  the 
Akim  country  is  entered  the  4th  day,  the  Boosempra  is  crossed  on 
the  6th,  by  a  tree  laid  over  it,  and  the  Birrim,  by  a  line  and  raft 
on  the  12th;  it  is  much  wider  than  the  Boosempra  is  where  we 
crossed  it,  and  runs  to  that  river,  falling  into  it  just  above  our 
crossing.  The  Aquapim,  a  clear  and  mountainous  country,  is 
entered  on  the  l6th  day.  By  the  eastern  route.  No.  4,  the  Akim 
country  is  entered  the  4th  da}' ;  a  large  hill  called  Abirrawantoo  is 
|)assed  the  9th  :  thence  the  Birrim  springs,  crossing  the  path  twice 
before  it  runs  to  the  Boosempra.  Three  days  westward  from  this 
mountain,  is  a  second,  called  Papow,  in  which  the  Ainshue  or  the 
Winnebah  river  rises.  A  river  called  Dinshue  rises  also  in  this 
neighbourhood,  running  to  the  vSaccomo,  which  falls  into  the  sea 
8  miles  west  of  Accra.  Isert,  who  visited  Aquapim,  called  the 
capital  Kommang,  but  Akropong  is  so  now.  The  distance  from 
Coomassie  to  Accra  may  be  estimated  at  230  miles,  which  bears 
about  the  same  proportion  to  the  horizontal  distance,  as  the  path 
we  travelled  through  Assin  from  Annaraaboc.  Dr.  Leyden  was 
much  imposed  on  in  the  extravagant  account  he  has  given  of  the 
extent,  power,  and  commerce  of  Akim,*  whicii  is  placed  in  the 
map  accompanying  his  Avork,  eastward  of  Dahomey,  instead  of 
westward  of  the  Volta.  Dr.  Isert  was  a  Danish  gentleman,  who 
had  the  good  fortune  to  cure  the  former  King  of  Ashantee's  sister 
of  a  lingering  disorder,  after  she  had  exhausted  all  the  skill  of  the 

*  "  On  the  west  of  Aquamboe  lies  the  powerful  state  of  Akiui,  sometimes  denominated 
Akam,  Achem,  and  Accany,  which  occupies  almost  all  the  interior  of  the  Gold  Coast, 
and  is  supposed  by  the  natives  to  extend  to  Barbary.  The  Accanese  arc  represented  as 
carrying  on  an  extensive  commerce  with  the  interior  kingdoms  of  Africa,  particularly 
Tonouwah,  Gago,  and  Meczara,  by  which  Mourzouk  the  capital  of  Fezzan  seems  to  be 
intended." 


GEOGRAPHY.  165 

feti&h  women,  and  came  to  Christiansburg  Castle  in  despair.  He 
afterwards  expressed  his  wish  to  visit  the  Ashantee  kingdom  ;  and 
being  encouraged,  he  set  out  in  June  1786,  and  staying  some  days 
in  Aquapim,  was  just  about  to  enter  Akim,  when  he  was  recalled 
by  the  Governor.  A  dangerous  illness,  heightened  by  his  disap- 
pointment, soon  afterwards  disgusted  him  with  the  country,  and 
he  left  it  for  the  West  Indies.  As  Dr.  Isert's  letters  are  only  known 
in  German  and  Dutch,*  and  he  was  an  industrious  and  scientific 
observer,  an  extract  from  his  description  of  the  Aquapim  country 
Avill  be  acceptable.  I  am  indebted  for  a  Latin  translation  of  this 
and  other  passages,  adduced  on  different  subjects,  to  Dr.  Reyn- 
haut  of  Elmina  Castle. 

"  I  began  my  journey  early  in  the  morning  of  the  17th  of  June, 
and  after  walking  two  hours  I  arrived  at  a  little  village,  pictures- 
quely situated,  named  Aschiama.  Two  hours  behind  this  lies  a 
chain  of  mountains,  which  are  composed  of  granitous  stones ;  flints 
are  but  rarely  found.  The  Avhole  prospect  shews  itself  here  in  a 
very  different  manner  to  that  observed  in  sandy  countries ;  the 
rocks  are  covered  with  lofty  trees,  which  are  encompassed  with 
small  forests  almost  impervious.  The  soil,  no  longer  sandy,  becomes 
argillaceous,  and  excellent  for  vegetation.  Behind  these  forests  I 
arrived  at  a  Negro  village  called  Abodee,  eight  leagues  from 
Christiansburg :  the  inhabitants  of  this  place  are  very  tenacious  of 
native  ceremony  and  etiquette.  Thence  I  passed  by  an  irregular 
path  through  the  following  villages,  Fiasso,  Eientema,  Futu, 
Mampon,  Odaky,  Manno,  and  Manseng.  An  hour  afterwards  I 
reached  a  village  named  Kommong,  the  residence  of  H.  R.  H.  the 
Duke  of  Aquapim.  Here  the  country  is  charming,  though  forests 
are  still  to  be  found.     Mountains,  rocks,  and  vallies  vary  each 

*  "  Reize  van  Koppenhagen  naar  Guinea,  &c.  Door  den  Heer  Isert.  Amstcld^un^ 
1797-     Naar  het  Hoog  Duitsch." 


166  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

other  in  the  most  striking  order ;  fresh  water,  so  rarely  obtained  in 
maritime  countries,  is  found  here  of  an  excellent  quality.  Near 
this  village  a  stream  constantly  rushes  from  the  summit  of  a  rock, 
and  affords  a  fresh  and  crystalline  water.  Trees  of  a  very  large 
circumference  are  also  found;  I  calculated  one  of  the^ biggest  to 
be  45  feet  round  and  15  in  diameter.  These  trees  are  not  the  same 
as  those  of  which  Adanson  speaks  in  his  description  of  Senegal, 
(Adansonia  digitata)  but  are  of  a  peculiar  species;  they  much 
resemble  a  round  lower,  as  they  do  not  bear  either  flowers  or 
fruits.  Here  I  found  the  Ammonium  Grana  Paradisi,  the  Ammo- 
nium Zerumber,  and  a  new  genus  in  a  perpendicular  tree  orna- 
mented by  flowers,  which  resembled  tulips,  (Novum  Genus 
Tetandriae)  and  of  great  elegance :  also  a  new  species  of  aloe,  of 
which  the  inhabitants  make  thread  ;  a  new  species  of  citron  with 
indented  leaves,  and  a  multitude  of  unknown  trees  and  shrubs.  In 
the  thickest  forests  grows  a  species  of  Spanish  cane,  very  straight 
and  Avell  proportioned,  and  often  attaining  six  feet  in  height;  it  is 
to  be  wished  that  it  could  be  made  use  of,  treating  it  as  the 
Chinese  do,  for  if,  when  dry,  an  equal  degree  of  tenacit}'-  could  be 
induced,  it  would  prove  superior  in  quality.  I  observed,  on  the 
boughs  of  the  trees,  the  Senna  plant  (which  is  parasitic,  and  con- 
sists entirely  of  a  flower),  it  Avas  almost  the  shape  of  a  pine  when 
open,  and  the  inside  is  of  a  ver}'-  deep  red  ;  the  Negroes  use  it  in 
the  syphilitic  disorder,  when  first  attacked.  I  took  it  for  the 
Aphutcia  Hydrora  of  Thunberg,  but  on  examination  it  differs 
much,  as  it  belongs  to  Icosandria,  Palm  trees  are  here  very  rare, 
except  the  oliferous  (Elois  Guineensis)  and  the  viniferous  (an 
Phoenix)  which  are  cultivated  in  great  numbers ;  also  the  true 
cocoa  nut  trees  (Cocas  nucifera)  and  the  false  (an  Borassus.)  In 
a  word,  nature  entirely  changes  her  form  as  soon  as  you  reach  the 
summit  of  the  cliain   of  mountains,   and  I   do   not  believe  one 


GEOGRAPHY.  167 

twentieth  part  of  the  plants  found  here  are  the  same  as  those  on 
the  Coast.  With  regard  to  natural  history,  I  was  less  happy  in 
making  discoveries.  The  elephant,  so  abundantly  inhabiting  the 
environs  of  Fidah,  (Whydah)  and  other  wild  beasts,  are  here  very 
rare,  which  may  be  attributed  to  the  scarcity  of  grass,  the  growth 
of  which  is  prevented  by  the  almost  impenetrable  forests.  Several 
sorts  of  birds  are  here  seen,  principally  paroquets,  of  which  I  knew 
six  species,  Psittacus,  Erythaeus  and  PuUarius  (Linn.)  the  others 
seem  to  be  new,  and  1  also  saw  a  great  number  of  insects  of  new 
species.  The  mineral  kingdom  would  perhaps  be  richer  if  they 
had  mines  here.  The  rocks  are  solely  composed  of  rough  stones 
like  granite  and  grens,  and  their  species ;  dry  quartz  and  slate 
stones  are  often  found ;  on  the  other  hand  I  could  not  discover 
calcareous  earth.  The  soil  is  varied,  but  consists  in  general  of  a 
rich  aluminous  earth,  traced  in  different  colours,  and  of  a  rich 
black  earth  with  which  sand  is  never  mixed.  The  atmosphere 
seemed  more  salubrious  than  on  the  sea  coast,  though  physicians 
generally  deny  this  quality  to  exist  near  the  forests  which  grow  in 
warm  climates.  I  believe  the  elevated  situation  of  the  country 
contributes  much  to  it.  The  Europeans  who  inhabit  the  Coast  in 
forts,  would  do  well  to  establish  an  hospital  and  a  garden  here. 
The  Arum  Esculentum,  the  Banana  (Musa  sapientum)  the  Ananas 
(Bromelia  Ananas)  the  Carica  Papaia  and  Citron  all  abound  here." 
The  Assin  path  is  that  described  in  the  route  from  Annamaboe 
to  Coomassie,  it  branches  off"  at  Foosoo  to  Ensabra,  two  journies 
from  Winnebah,  through  Anissoo,  Asoidroo  (the  head  quarters  of 
the  King  of  Ashantee  in  the  invasion  of  1807)  and  Atoaperrim, 
which  means  "  to  fire  a  gun."  The  principal  town  of  Assin  is 
Ansa,  through  which  we  passed,  Akrofroom,  apparently  larger,  is 
called  the  second.  A  range  of  stony  hills  is  the  boundary  of  Assin 
and  Akim. 


168  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

The  path  to  Elmina,  through  the  Warsaw  country,  makes  so 
considerable  an  angle  to  the  westward,  that  the  Ashantees  invariably 
declared  it  occupied  more  time  to  travel  than  the  Assin  ;  it  is 
allowed  to  be  ten  journies  at  Elmina,  by  route  No.  5.  The  Dah  is 
crossed  the  first  day  at  its  town  Adahsoo,  and  in  the  evening 
Becquoi  (one  of  the  five  large  towns  built  by  the  Ashantees)  is 
reached.  The  Dankara  country  is  entered  the  third  day,  theTufel 
the  fourth,  the  Warsaw  the  sixth,  the  Boosempra  is  crossed  the 
tenth  day,  the  Ofim,  which  skirts  this  path  to  the  westward  (having 
received  the  Dah  at  Mee'asee)  falling  into  it.  The  capital  of  the 
Dankara  country  is  four  journies  westward  of  Coomassie,  and  the 
frontier  is  entered  the  second  by  route  No.  6  :  it  is  the  most  pro- 
ductive of  gold,  but  has  been  extravagantly  over-rated  in  Bosman's 
report  of  its  population.  The  river  Seiinnee,  or,  as  the  Portuguese 
have  called  it,  Ancobra,  from  its  serpentine  course,  has  been  thought 
to  rise  just  beyond  the  north  eastern  frontier,  but  it  will  presently 
appear  to  be  a  branch  of  the  Tando  of  the  Ashantees.  In  the 
Dutch  copies  of  the  old  Portuguese  charts,  Dankara  is  placed 
eastward  of  Ashantee.  The  Warsaw  country  will  be  noticed  more 
particularly,  in  considering  the  maritime  geography  from  Cape 
Coast  Castle  to  the  river  Assinee. 

The  Warsaw  path  has  two  grand  branches,  one  to  Apollonia  and 
one  to  Aowin,  each  thirteen  journies;  the  former  is  in  the  small 
kingdom  of  Amanaheii.  The  Abwin  country  extends  from  Apol- 
lonia to  the  river  Assinee,  five  journies  in  length  and  three  in 
breadth  ;  it  is  governed  by  seven  or  eight  caboceers,  hke  those  of 
Warsaw,  independent  of  each  other :  it  can  furnish  about  5000 
soldiers.  The  numerals  of  Amanahea  and  Aowin  will  appear  in 
an  essay  on  the  Eantee  language.  Both  countries  are  at  the  mercy 
of  the  Ashantees,  who  extort  gold  from  them  frequently,  though 
they  have  not  yet  fixed  the  tributes. 


GEOGRAPHY.  169 

Sauee  lies  eight  journies  W,  N.W.  from  Coomassie,  and  Moinsan 
fifteen.  I  could  not  procure  the  routes,  but  Worn  and  Sannasee 
are  two  of  the  largest  towns  which  are  passed  through. 

Buntookoo,  the  capital  of  the  kingdom  of  Gaman,  is  11  journies 
N.  N.W.  of  Coomassie  by  route  No.  7-  The  river  Ofim  is  crossed 
the  second  day,  the  Tando  the  fifth,  thence  the  country  becomes 
open.  Yammee,  the  frontier  town  of  Gaman,  is  reached  the  eighth 
day.  The  name  of  the  King  of  Gaman  is  Adinkara ;  the  capital, 
though  not  so  large,  is  allowed  to  be  better  built  than  Coomassie, 
and  the  Moorish  influence  has  been  longer  established.  It  is  in- 
comparably the  richest  country  in  gold,  and  small  pits  were 
described  to  me,  like  those  Mr.  Park  saw  at  Shjrondo.  The 
numerals  are, 


Two 

Noo. 

Three 

Sah. 

Four 

Nah. 

Five     - 

-    Taw. 

Six     - 

Torata. 

Seven 

Toorifeenoo. 

Eight 

Toorifeessa. 

Nine 

Toorifeena. 

Ten     - 

Noonoo. 

The  four  principal  Gaman  towns,  are  Sarem,  which  some  call  the 
capital,  Bandakeea,  Bundoo,  and  Nassea,  five  journies  from  Kong, 
and  seven  from  Buntookoo. 

A  powerful  kingdom  called  Bahooree,  which  has  hitherto  suc- 
cessfully resisted  the  Ashantees,  was  described  to  be  westward, 
and  expected  to  afford  refuge  to  the  King  of  Gaman  on  the 
approaching  invasion. 

I  had  heard  it  reported  that  the  Tando  formed  the  Assinee  river, 


170  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

about  35  miles  westward  of  Cape  Apollonia,  but  a  very  intelligent 
Ashantee  satisfied  me  this  was  a  mistake,  arising  probably  from 
Seenee  being  the  native  name  of  the  Ancobra,  which  is  formed  by 
one  branch  of  theTando;  a  second  running  westward.  The  Tando 
is  not  near  so  large  as  the  Boosempra,  and  therefore  very  unlikely 
to  form  so  large  a  river  as  the  Assinee ;  the  western  branch  may 
possibly  run  into  it.  Mr.  Meredith,  writing  from  report  without 
sufficiently  checking  it,  has  made  the  Tando  and  the  Chamah  or 
Boosempra  the  same ;  yet,  p.  225,  he  adds,  "  the  Volta  is  more 
probably  a  branch  of  the  Tando,  a  large  ri\'er  reported  as  running 
to  the  eastward,  and  which  the  Ashantees  aie  obliged  to  cross  in 
coming  to  the  Coast :"  he  did  not  reflect  that  he  thus  laid  down  a 
river  running  out  of  the  sea.  The  Tando,  we  have  seen,  is  five  daj's 
northward  of  Coomassie,  it  rises  in  some  rocky  hills  called  Toofeeii, 
near  the  large  town  Aenkroo,  between  the  Banda  and  Inta  paths. 
Soko  (formerly  a  province  of  Gaman)  is  11  journies  from  Coo- 
massie; and  Banda,  four  beyond,  and  a  little  to  the  eastward  ;  see 
route  No.  8.  The  first  day,  Tafoo  is  reached,  a  large  aboriginal 
Inta  town,  for,  as  will  be  seen  in  the  historical  report,  the  Ashantees 
emigrated,  and  subjected  several  Inta  districts  now  forming  the 
northern  part  of  their  dominions,  and  trenched  considerably  on 
that  declining  kingdom,  now  entirely  at  their  mercy.  If  Mr. 
Dalzel  had  reflected,  it  would  have  occurred  to  him,  that  the 
Taffoe,  Tafoe,  or  Tafu  of  Snelgrave  (placed  so  absurdly  in  his  map, 
60  miles  west  of  the  mouth  of  the  Volta)  and  the  In-ta*  he  heard 
of  at  Dahomey,  and  confounded  with  Ashantee,  were  the  same : 
for  the  In  in  In-ta  is  scarcely  audible,  and  only  a  slight  nasal 
sound  barely  amounting  to  n,  as  N-ta ;  foo  is  merely  an  adjunct 
equal  to  people  or  men  in  our  language,  affixed  in  the  present 

*  This  induced  me  to  think  that  In-ta  and  Ta-pah,  as  A\ell  as  x\ssiantee  might  mean 
the  same  place,  as  we  find  of  Mahee,  Yalion,  &c. — Dalzel. 


GEOGRAPHY.  171 

infancy  of  African  language  to  all  names  of  countries,  as  if  we 
always  said  the  Scotchmen  or  Irishmen,  instead  of  the  Scotch  and 
Irish.  The  Ofim  is  crossed  one  day  beyond  Tafoo  at  its  crooni 
Ofeesoo,  the  Tando  four  journies  beyond  at  Tandosoo.  Takima 
is  reached  the  eighth  day,  whence  the  Fantees  are  reported,  by 
tradition,  to  have  emigrated,  and  there  is  yet  but  little  difference 
in  the  languages. 

Sixteen  journies  N.  N.  E.  of  Coomassie  is  Boopee  (which  I  have 
placed  accordingly  in  8°  42'  N.  and  1°  19'  W.)  the  frontier  town 
of  Inta,  hitherto  confounded  with  Ashantee,  than  which  it  is  more 
populous  and  more  civilized.  The  Moorish  influence  has  been 
long  established  there,  and  almost  all  its  caboceers  affect  to  profess 
that  faith.  The  river  Adirri,  Avhich  we  shall  presently  identify  with 
the  Volta,  is  crossed  four  hours  southward  of  Boopee,  and  is 
described  as  about  120  yards  broad;  it  rises  eight  journies  N.W. 
of  Boopee,  in  a  large  mountain  called  Kondoongooree,  one  of  the 
mountains  of  Kong,  which  were  distinctly  and  invariably  reported 
not  to  be  a  chain,  but  frequently  and  individually  scattered,  from 
Kong  eastward.  Seven  journies  from  Coomassie,  on  the  Inta 
route,  is  the  smaller  kingdom  Coranza  (probably  the  Corisseno  of 
the  old  maps)  the  people  of  which  are  of  the  same  origin  as  the 
Ashantees  by  tradition,  but,  as  the  King  himself  assured  me,  of 
much  more  genius  and  aptitude.  Three  journies  from  Boopee  is 
Daboia,  the  second  town  of  Inta.  The  first  journey  is  to  Minsiroo, 
where  lions  are  numerous  ;  the  second  to  Moronko,  the  inhabitants 
of  which  are  so  fearful  of  being  carried  off  as  slaves  by  the  Ashantee 
traders  (who  travel  in  great  numbers)  that  they  have  no  doors  to 
their  houses,  but  ascending  by  a  ladder,  which  they  immediately 
draw  up,  they  enter  through  thg  thatch.  Close  to  Moronko  is  a 
river,  about  as  large  as  the  Boosempra,  called  Adiffofoo.  Pahmee, 
three  journies  south  eastward  of  Daboia,  and  Yabo  which  I  cannpt 


172  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

place  so  precisely,  are  the  alternate  residences  of  the  King  of  Inta. 
There  is  a  constant  commercial  intercourse  between  Inta  and 
Dahomey,  the  frontiers  being  five  journies  apart.  The  numerals 
of  Inta  are 


One     - 

Koko. 

Two 

Anyoe; 

Three 

Assa. 

Four 

Anna. 

Five    - 

Annoo. 

Six    - 

Assee. 

Seven 

Assoonno. 

Eight 

Adoobrooa. 

Nine     - 

Digrakoono. 

Ten 

Koodoo. 

Sallagha,  the  grand  market  of  the  Inta  kingdom,  is  17  journies 
north-eastward  from  Coomassie,  by  route  No.  10.  The  first  is  to 
Marmpon,  one  of  the  five  large  towns  built  by  the  Ashantees,  and 
possessing  palatine  privileges;  the  second,  through  five  smaller 
towns  to  Aphwaguiassie,  the  largest  market  in  the  Ashantee  king- 
dom ;  the  9th  day  the  rivers  Kirradee  and  Oboosoom  are  crossed, 
each  about  60  yards  wide,  and  flowing  so  near  together,  as  to 
appear  one  in  the  rainy  season  ;  a  high  mountain,  Aduarreekennee, 
is  just  beyond  them,  the  boundar}""  of  Ashantee  and  Booroom. 
The  tenth  day  the  river  Sennee  is  forded,  which  afterwards  enlarges 
considerably,  and  runs  into  the  Volta ;  it  rises  five  journies  from 
Coomassie  (by  route  No.  11)  between  the  Boopee  and  Sallagha 
paths.  The  Booroom  country  is  quite  open,  and  the  Ashantees 
give  the  river  the  figurative  name  of  Birrinsoo,  which  means  that 
its  distance  is  so  deceiving,  that  ^ou  Avill  cry  before  you  reach  it. 
The  capital  of  Booroom  is  Guia,  a  considerable  town,  noticed  in 
the  route  to  Odentee,  a  fetish  sanctuary  of  great  repute,  and  said 


GEOGRAPHY.  ITS 

to  be  splendidly  furnished.   The  Ashantee  language  is  spoken  very 
commonly  in  Booroom,  but  the  vernacular  numerals  are 


One     - 

-    Ekoo. 

Two 

Enoo, 

Three 

Essa. 

Four 

Enna. 

Five    - 

-    Annoo. 

Six     - 

Esseii. 

Seven 

Assoono. 

Eight 

Aquiay. 

Nine    - 

-    Akonno. 

Ten     - 

-      Edoo. 

The  tenth  day  the  Adirri  or  Volta  is  crossed,  more  than  a  mile 
wide,  but  much  interrupted  by  rocks,  and  described  to  be  full  of 
hippopotami  (which  they  call  sea  elephants,)  and  alligators.  This 
river  divides  Booroom  from  Inta,  Sallagha  being  one  day's  long 
march  from  it.  Calculating  the  17  journies  to  Sallagha  at  15  miles 
each,  the  course  as  N.E.  by  E.  and  supposing  two  thirds  to  be 
made  good  on  the  horizontal  distance,  according  to  our  own 
experience,  which  gives  170  B.  equal  to  147  G.  miles,  Sallagha 
Avill  lie  in  latitude  "7°  56'  N.,  and  longitude  9"  W.  As  a  check 
upon  this  position,  it  will  be  necessary  to  follow  the  Adirri  or 
Volta  as  far  as  the  natives  navigate  it  from  Adda,  where  it  is  called 
the  Flou  (as  the  falls  of  the  Senegal.)  Isert's  report  may  be 
interesting  as  an  introduction. 

"  The  people  of  Adda  think  it  derogatory  to  cultivate  land,  and 
live  by  fishing,  and  making  salt,  which  they  sell  to  the  people  of 
the  Interior.  The  Volta  has  no  breakers,  and  therefore  may  be 
presumed  to  be  deep."  This  is  an  extraordinary  mistake ;  Dalzel 
says  there  are  high  breakers.  Colonel  Starrenberg  (of  Engineers) 
at  Elmina  Castle,  who  went  about  60  miles  up  the  Volta,  accom- 


174  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

panied  by  a  Danish  officer  and  flag,  and  met  with  no  impediment 
so  far,  but  turned  back  reluctantly  in  three  or  four  fathoms  of 
water,  observed  to  me,  that  he  thouglit  the  channel  between  the 
breakers  about  a  mile  wide.  Dalzel  mentions  an  American  brig 
making  good  her  passage  over  the  bar,  on  which  there  is  about 
two  fathoms  water;  and  a  Danish  schooner  has  done  so  since. 
"  An  arm  goes  from  the  mouth  to  Quitta."  This  must  be  the  river 
running  from  Lagos  into  the  Volta,  near  the  mouth,  as  will  be 
shewn  in  considering  the  errors  in  the  maritime  geography.  "  Six 
English  miles  from  the  mouth,  it  forms  a  lake  60  miles  long  and 
48  broad,  whence  an  arm  extends  to  Pottriba,  3  miles  eastward  of 
Quitta  :  in  this  lake  are  more  than  a  hundred  islands."  Colonel 
Starrenberg  thought  the  river  widened  about  9  British  miles  from 
the  mouth,  but  the  number  of  small  islands  prevented  even  ocular 
demonstration.  So  large  a  lake  would  certainly  have  been  spoken 
of  by  the  natives  to  Europeans  ere  this ;  those  whom  I  have  ques- 
tioned, have  gone  up  the  river  to  the  extreme  navigable  point,  and 
crossed  it  in  many  parts  ;  and  they  all  declare  that  at  Ascharee,  2 
days  from  Adda,  it  is  not  two  miles  wide.  I  never  could  find 
either  an  Ashantee,  or  a  waterside  native,  who  knew  of  the  arm 
running  to  Pottriba,  a  name  the}^  had  not  heard  of;  neither  could 
Col.  Starrenberg  learn  any  thing  of  it ;  no  branch  appeared  as  far 
as  he  went.  Isert  probably  alluded,  from  report,  to  the  river 
Assuafroo,  which  runs  from  eastward  into  the  Volta,  7  journies  from 
Adda,  as  will  appear  in  the  natives  account.  "  From  May  to 
December  the  water  is  good  to  drink,  being  then  higher  than  the 
sea  ;  in  the  other  months  it  is  not  so,  but  produces  more  fish.  The 
river  overflows  in  July,  and  August,  and  the  neighbourhood  of  its 
banks  is  excellent  for  the  cultivation  of  rice."  Rice  is  abundantly 
cultivated  in  the  Inta  kingdom.  "  Three  miles  from  the  sea  is  an 
island,  called  Bird  Island,  full  of  pelicans  of  peculiar  kinds.  There 


GEOGRAPHY.  175 

is  a  fish  in  this  river  called  hardrass,  which,  when  smoked,  is 
exactly  like  European  salmon.  There  are  also  hippopotami  and 
crocodiles  :  quantities  of  oysters  adhere  to  the  mangroves,  but 
when  the  river  is  fresh  they  are  good  for  nothing.  There  are  a 
great  number  of  singing  birds,  and  a  nightingale  equal  to  the 
Polish,  which  sings  in  May  and  December."  Col.  Starrenberg 
heard  a  nightingale,  but  saw  only  one  hippopotamus.  There  is  a 
kind  of  cedar  tree,  (Avicenniae  nov.  spec.)  which  shoots  up  many 
branches  from  the  ground,  about  as  thick  as  a  pipe,  and  bare  of 
leaves :  this  tree  is  so  very  salt  in  its  nature,  that  in  the  morning  a 
great  quantity  of  liquid  salt  is  found  on  the  leaves,  chrystallizing 
in  the  course  of  the  day.*  Amalfee  is  on  an  island,  48  miles  from 
the  mouth,  tiie  inhabitants  of  which,  and  those  on  the  banks  of  the 
river,  of  Agrafee,  Wefee,  Tophirree,  and  Bettoo,  call  themselves 
river  inhabitants.     The  former  are  the  brokers  of  slaves  for  the 

*  "  In  tlie  province  of  St.  Jago,  in  Chili,  there  is  a  plant  of  this  class  and  order 
(Dldynamiae  gymiiosperma)  supposed  to  be  a  species  of  wild  basil  (Ocimum  salinum), 
resembhng  the  common  basil  so  much  as  to  be  hardly  distinguished  from  it,  except  that 
the  flower  stem  is  round  and  jointed,  and  its  scent  and  taste  not  like  the  basil,  but  rather 
like  the  sea  flag,  or  some  marine  plant.  It  is  an  annual,  shooting  forth  in  the  spring, 
and  continuing  till  the  commencement  of  winter :  every  morning  it  is  covered  with  hard 
and  shining  saline  globules,  resembling  dew,  which  the  countryjnen  shake  off"  the  leaves 
to  serve  them  as  common  salt,  and  in  some  respects  is  thought  to  be  of  a  superior 
quality.  Every  plant  produces  daily  about  half  an  ounce  of  this  salt ;  but  Molina,  a 
scientific  naturalist,  to  whom  we  are  indebted  for  this  information,  says,  that  it  is 
extremely  diflScult  to  account  for  this  plienomenon,  as  the  situation  where  he  found  these 
plants  was  in  the  most  fertile  part  of  the  kingdom,  and  at  a  distance  from  the  sea  of  more 
than  seventy  miles.  When  we  see  some  plants  secrete  flint,  separate  and  distinct  from 
their  fibres,  as  well  as  combined  with  their  organic  structure ;  and  when  we  also  know 
that  plants  secrete  alkali,  in  every  situation,  I  cannot  perceive  why  Mohna  should  con- 
sider the  contiguity  of  the  sea  to  be  essential  to  the  production  of  a  neutral  salt  in  the 
Ocimum  salinum."    Linnasan  System,  London,  1816,  vol.  ii.  p.  303. 

Riley,  whose  narrative  has  recently  appeared,  saw  in  the  desert,  "  A  dwarf  thorn  bush 
from  two  to  five  feet  high  with  succulent  leaves  strongly  impregnated  with  salt." 


176  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

« 

Creppee  country,  and  receive  a  vast  number  from  one  of  its  pro- 
vinces called  Acottim,  3  journies  east\vard." 

Mr.  Mereditli  could  scarcely  have  enquired  about  the  Creppee 

or  Aquamboe  countries,  to  have  placed  them  west  of  the  Volta. 

The  natives  who  carry  salt  up  the  Volta,   pull  the   1st  day,  by 

Agrafee,  Foomee,  and  TefFeree  to  Amanfee,  on  the  banks  ;  the  2nd 

to  Dofo  on  an  island  ;  the  3rd,  by  Ascharee,  on  the  western  bank, 

to  Adome ;  the  4th  by  Assafoo  to  the  Aquamboe  country ;  the  5th 

to  Sowa  ;  the  6th  to  Pessee ;  the  7th  by  Appasoo,  to  Deyatoompon, 

where  a  large  river  flows  into  the  Volta  from  the  eastward ;  to 

Doodee  the  8th;  to  Tombo  the  9th;  to  Akorosoo  the  10th;  to 

Odentee  the  11th.     Here  the  river  becomes  too  rocky  to  proceed 

conveniently,  and  hence  to  Sallagha  by  land  is  4  journies,  through 

the  large  towns  Oboekee,  Akuntong,  Enkungquakroo,  and  Apa- 

passee,  famous  for  making  cotton  cloth.     There  is  a  small  state 

northward,  between  Aquamboe  and  Inta,  called  Anoochoo,  subject 

to  Ashantee,  bordering  on  which  is  Guasoo,  the  southern  district 

or  province  of  Inta.     The  Creppee  country  borders  on  Aquamboe 

eastward,  and  is  independent. 

I  am  not  in  possession  of  Colonel  Starrenberg's  bearings,  but  the 
course  of  the  river  may  be  pretty  well  ascertained  from  fixing  the 
points  of  Odentee,  Quabo,  and  Ascharee.  Odentee  is  6  journies 
southward  of  east  (by  route  No.  12)  from  Pattooda,  in  the  Booroom 
country,  and  mentioned  in  the  route  to  Sallagha.  Quaoo,  the  coun- 
try where  the  Boosempra  rises,  has  already  been  mentioned  as 
entered  8  journies  from  Coomassie.  Ascharee,  2  days  and  a  half 
pull  up  the  river,  is  reached  in  1  day's  walk  from  Ningo.  The 
course  of  the  Volta  is  consequently  about  ^V.  N.  W.  to  Quaoo, 
N.  E.  by  N.  to  Odentee,  and  N.  W.  by  Sallagha,  which  course  it 
appears  to  continue  to  Boopee,  if  not  to  its  source  in  the  Kondoon- 
gooree  mountain.     The  10  days  pull  from  Adda  to  Odentee,  and 


GEOGRAPHY.  177 

the  4  journies  by  land  thence  to  Sallagha,  agree  very  well  with  the 
distance  and  position  of  that  place,  as  before  calculated  by  the 
17  davs  route  from  Coomassie.  The  houses  of  Sallagha  and  other 
towns  of  Inta  were  mentioned  as  peculiar  from  being  round. 
Leo  Africanus  observed  houses  built  in  the  form  of  bells  at 
Timbuctoo. 

Seven  days- from  Sallagha,  N.  E.  according  to  the  Moors,  through 
the  Inta  town  of  Zongoo,  is  Yahndi,  the  capital  of  Dagwumba, 
which  I  have  placed,  calculating  the  course  at  N.  E.  by  E.,  and 
allowing  18  miles  for  each  journey,  as  the  country  is  said  to  be 
open,  in  55'  E.  and  8°  38'  N.:  the  position  is  assisted  by  the  com- 
mon account  of  its  being  8  journies  from  Daboia,  by  route  No.  13, 
and  that  two  obscure,  but  direct  paths  to  Daboia  and  Yahndi,  from 
Coomassie,  occupy  the  first  19  days,  and  tlie  latter  (described  as 
laying  between  Daboia  and  Sallagha)  23  days.  Sir  William  Young, 
in  his  Report  of  the  Geography  and  History  of  Northern  Africa, 
writes,  "  the  Slatees  of  Old  Calebar  are  said  to  carry  on  their  trade 
to  Degombah  northward,"  which  also  supports  my  placing  it  more 
to  the  eastward  than  it  appears  in  Major  Rennel's  map.  Yngwa, 
a  district  and  large  town  of  Dagwumba,  is  said  to  lie  8  days  north- 
westward of  Yahndi,  through  Sakoigoo ;  its  distance  from  Daboia, 
by  report  6  journies,  places  it  about  N.  N.W.  Two  journies  from 
Daboia,  towards  Yngwa,  is  the  river  Adiffofoo,  about  60  yards 
wide,  running  eastvv'ard,  2  journies  from  which  is  Kooboro,  a  large 
Dagwumba  town. 

North-eastward  of  Yahndi  is  Tonomah,  of  which  1  do  not  recol- 
lect more  than  the  name,  though  I  think  it  is  a  town  and  district  of 
Dagwumba.  The  kingdom  of  Tonowah,  of  which  Assentai  has 
been  described  as  the  capital  by  the  Shereef  Imhammed,*  must 

*  Jn  the  Dutch  copies  of  the  old  Portuguese  chart.^,  Xabunda  (perhaps  Banda)  is 

A  a 


178  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

have  been  derived  from  this  name,  being  otherwise  unknown. 
Three  journies  north-eastward  of  Yahndi  is  Sokoquo  or  Ensoko, 
also  a  considerable  town. 

Yahndi  is  described  to  be  beyond  comparison  larger  than 
Coomassie,  the  houses  much  better  built  and  ornamented.  The 
Ashantees  who  had  visited  it,  told  me,  they  frequently  lost  them- 
selves in  the  streets.  The  King,  Inana  Tanquaree,  has  been  con- 
verted by  the  Moors,  who  have  settled  there  in  great  numbers. 
Mr.  Lucas  called  it  the  Mahomedan  kingdom  of  Degomba,  and  it 
was  represented  to  him  as  peculiarly  wealthy  and  civilized.  The 
markets  of  Yahndi  are  described  as  animated  scenes  of  commerce, 
constantly  crowded  with  merchants  from  almost  all  the  countries 
of  the  interior.  Horses  and  cattle  abound,  and  immense  flocks  are 
possessed  even  by  the  poorer  class.  The  numerals  of  Dagwumba 
and  Yngwa  differing,  I  submit  both. 

Yngwa.  Dagwumba. 

One         -  Lakoo  -     Yahndo 

Two  -         Ayee         -  Ayee 

Three  -       Attali  -       Attah 

Four         -  Anahee  -    Nasee 

Five  -         Leerennoo     -       Ennoon 

Six         -  Ayoboo  -    Yohbee 

Seven  -      Ayapai         -         Poiee 

Eight        -  Annee  -       Nehenoo 

Nine         .  -        Awai         -  Whyee 

Ten         -  Pea        -         -      Edoo. 

Yahndi  is  named  after  the  numeral  one,  from  its  pre-eminence. 
Sarem  is  the  name  of  a  region,  including  Gaman,  Inta,  and  Dag- 
wumba, so  called  from  the  open  nature  of  those  countries. 

placed  as  the  capital  of  Ashantee,  and  two  or  three  large  Portuguese  towns,  one  St, 
Lawrence,  with  several  convents  and  crosses  between  it  and  the  Coast. 


GEOGRAPHY.  1T9 

One  day  from  Sallagha,  towards  Yahndi,  and  scarcely  one 
journey  westward  from  the  latter,  is  the  river  Laka,  described  to 
be  as  large  and  as  rapid  as  the  Adirri  or  Volta,  which  it  joins  below 
Odentee,  and  may  therefore  be  safely  concluded  to  be  the  Assua- 
froo  ;  for  the  names  of  rivers  are  very  mutable  in  Africa,  each 
country  through  which  they  pass  naturalising  them  to  its  own  lan- 
guage, and  thus  increasing  the  perplexities  of  a  geography  founded 
on  investigation.  I  could  not  procure  any  authorized  account  of 
the  northward  course  of  this  river,  the  best  opportunities  had 
escaped  me  when  I  heard  of  it. 

Five  journies  N.  E.  from  Yahndi  is  the  smaller  kingdom  of 
Gamba,  the  birth  place  of  Baba  the  chief  Moor  at  Coomassie,  and 
the  boundary  of  the  Ashantee  authority,  though  its  influence, 
through  the  much  respected  medium  of  Dagwumba,  would  extend 
to  the  Niger.  Seven  journies  northward  of  Yngwa  is  the  kingdom 
of  Fobee :  the  ri^er  Koontoorooa  is  crossed  four  days  from  it, 
being  about  half  a  mile  broad,  it  has  an  edstern  and  western 
branch,  the  former  running  to  the  Karhala,  one  day  farther,  con- 
siderably wider,  and  the  course  south-eastward.  One  journey 
from  the  river  is  a  large  mountain  called  Sarraka,  the  same  distance 
from  Fobee,  the  capital  of  the  kingdom.  Lakoo,  Lamma,  Karhala, 
and  Koomada  are  the  next  largest  towns.  Five  journies  north- 
ward is  an  independent  kingdom  called  Chouoocha.  The  position 
of  Fobee  is  checked  by  Goorooma,  being  15  journies  from  it,  (a 
kingdom  to  be  noticed  presently  in  the  direct  northern  route  from 
Yahndi  to  Houssa,)  and  Kawerree  only  nine,  doubtless  Cayree,  a 
kingdom  in  the  route  of  the  Moors  from  Coomassie  to  Jinnie. 
The  numerals  of  Fobee  are 

One    -         -     Koroom. 

Two         -  Nalay. 

Three        -        Poompevarra. 


180  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 


Four 

Leetaynalee. 

Five    - 

-     Kakvvassee. 

Six     - 

Mannassa. 

Seven 

Noottoosoo. 

Eight 

Borafay. 

Nine 

Pirrifay. 

Ten    - 

Nanooa. 

Five  journies  from  Yngwa  is  Mosee,  a  more  warlike  but  less  visited 
kingdom  ;  it  consists  of  many  states,  but  the  superior  monarch  is 
named  Billa,  and  the  capital  Kookoopella.  I  place  this  N.W., 
because,  although  its  traders  pass  through  Yngwa,  they  do  not 
cross  the  Karhala,  or  indeed  any  river  but  what  they  can  walk 
through.    The  numerals  are 


One     - 

Yimbo. 

Two 

Ayeeboo 

Three 

Ataboo. 

Four 

Annasee. 

Five     - 

Annoo. 

Six     - 

Ayobee. 

Seven 

Owhi. 

Eight 

En  nee. 

Nine     - 

Aihopoi. 

Ten 

Peega. 

A  few  days  northward  of  Fobee,  through  Chamday  and  Kobafoo, 
is  Calanna,  described  as  a  very  large  city,  rivalling  Yahndi  as  a 
market,  and  situated  at  the  foot  of  a  mountain  abounding  in  iron 
stone,  which  they  manufacture  for  rude  purposes  in  much  the  same 
manner  as  Mr.  Park  witnessed  at  Jeningalla.  Calanna  is  pro- 
bably the  Calanshee  of  Imhammed,  who  told  Mr.  Lucas  that  it  was 
a  dependency  of  Tounouwah  or  Assentai,  situated  mid-way  between 
it  and  the  coast,  18  journies  from  each.    The  numerals  are 


GEOGRAPHY. 

One     - 

Kodoom, 

Two 

Naboolla 

Three 

Naweedazoo. 

Four     - 

Nabonaza. 

Five 

Nabonoa. 

Six 

Lodoo. 

Seven 

Logwa. 

Eight 

Litta'izoo. 

Nine     - 

Nako. 

Ten 

Ye  woo. 

181 


Kumsallahoo  I  have  not  attempted  to  lay  down,  having  no  other 
guide  for  placing  it  than  the  report  that  it  is  one  moon's  journey 
from  Dagwumba,  that  its  traders  pass  through  Mosee,  and  cross 
only  one  river,  the  Fachinga,  and  that  not  large.  The  numerals  are 


One     - 

-     Yum  bo. 

Two 

Yeeboo, 

Three 

-       Tabo. 

Four     - 

-   Nasee. 

Five 

Annoo. 

Six     - 

-      Yobo. 

Seven 

Poihee. 

Eight 

Nehee. 

Nine     - 

-    Wahee. 

Ten 

Peoja. 

We  will  now  return  to  Coomassie  and  proceed  northwards  to 
Jinnie,  or  as  it  was  generally  pronounced,  Jenne.  This  route  to 
Tombuctoo  (or  Timbooctoo)  is  much  less  frequented  by  the  Moors 
than  that  from  Dagwumba,  through  Houssa.  They  alledge  that 
the  people  northward,  are  neither  so  commercial,  so  civihzed,  or 
so  wealthy  as  those  north-eastward.  The  first  12  journies  are  to 
Buntookoo,  seven  journies  whence  is  a  river  called  by  the  natives 


182  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Coombo,  and  by  ihe  Moors,  Zamma  ;  it  is  described  as  Haifa  mile 
broad,  and  running  westward.  I  could  not  find  any  Ashantee  who 
had  travelled  beyond  this  river,  which  is  the  northern  limit  of  their 
authority.  Five  journies  eastward  of  north  from  the  river,  is 
Kong,  the  King  of  which  is  named  Asequoo.  A  large  mountain 
called  Toolileseena  is  near  the  capital,  and  a  small  river,  Woora, 
four  journies  from  it.  The  kingdom  is  said  to  be  by  no  means  so 
wealthy  or  powerful  as  that  of  Ashantee ;  the  market  is  supplied 
from  Houssa,  the  country  is  populous,  horses  numerous,  and 
elephants  killed  daily.  The  people  fight  with  spears,  and  bows  and 
arrows.  Seven  journies  from  Kong  several  mountains  are  passed, 
called  Koonkoori.  Mr.  Park  says,  that  "  Kong  signifies  mountain 
in  the  Mandingo  language,  which  language  is  in  use  from  the 
frontier  of  Bambarra  to  the  western  sea."  The  language  of  Kong 
seems  to  be  a  corruption  of  the  Bambarra  or  Mandingo :  the 
numerals  are 


One     - 

-     Kiddee. 

Two 

Filla. 

Three 

Sowa. 

Four 

Nanoo. 

Five     - 

-    Looroa. 

Six     - 

Wora. 

Seven 

OoranfiUa 

Eight 

Leeaygee. 

Nine     - 

-   Konunto. 

Ten     - 

-    Tah. 

The  Ashantees  calling  all  the  slaves  whom  they  brought  down 
to  the  water  side  Dunkos,  it  had  been,  for  many  years,  naturally 
concluded  that  there  was  a  large  country  of  that  name  in  their 
neighbourhood.  Isert  writes,  ♦'  the  Dunkoers  are  a  people  behind 
Ashantee."     On  enquiry,  however,  I  found  to  my  surprise,  that 


GEOGRAPHY.  188 

there  is  no  country  of  that  name,  but  that  it  is  merely  an  epithet, 
synonymous  with  the  barbarian  of  the  Greeks  and  Romans,  which 
they  apply  to  all  the  people  of  the  interior  but  themselves,  and 
implies  an  ignorant  fellow.  I  first  suspected  this  from  observing 
some  Dunkos  were  cut  in  the  face,  and  some  not,  and  I  presently 
discovered  their  vernacular  languages  were  various,  and  unintel- 
Hgible  to  each  other.  Generally  speaking,  the  bush  or  country 
people  of  Dagwumba  have  three  light  cuts  on  each  cheek  bone, 
and  three  below,  with  one  horizontal  under  the  eye ;  those  of 
Yahndi,  three  deep  continued  cuts ;  the  people  of  Mosce,  three 
very  deep  and  long,  and  one  under  the  eye ;  those  of  Bornoo  are 
frequently  cut  in  the  forehead  ;  of  Marrowa  all  over  the  body  in 
fine,  small,  and  intricate  patterns.  In  Fobee,  Kumsallahoo,  and 
Calanna,  the  lower  orders  have  a  hole  bored  through  the  cartilage 
of  the  nose.  These  cuts  are  made  during  infancy,  to  insinuate 
fetish  liquids  to  invigorate  and  preserve  the  child. 

Nine  journies  northward  of  Kong  is  Kaybee,  the  King  of  which, 
named  Mamooroo,  killed  the  former  monarch  Dabbira.  The 
country  was  said  to  be  very  populous,  the  capital  behind  a  mountain 
called  Beseeree,  the  soil  chalky,  and  asses  as  numerous  as  horses. 
Three  journies  from  the  frontier  of  Kaybee,  over  a  large  mountain 
called  Seboopoo,  and  across  a  large  river,  is  Kayree,  through 
which  country  it  is  very  dangerous  to  pass,  the  people  laying  in 
ambush  in  small  parties  to  rob  or  kidnaj)  travellers,  and  subsisting 
by  rapine.  Five  journies  thence  is  Garoo  (probably  Gago*)  a  very 
powerful  kingdom,  the  King,  Batoomo,  lives  at  Netaquolla. 
Twenty  journies  beyond  is  the  kingdom  of  Doowarra,  the  people 
of  which  are  indifferent  warriors,  but  superior  agriculturists,  and 

*  Gago  oppidum  amplissimum  nuUis  quoquc  cingltur  mui-is,  dlstat  a  Tiinil)Uto 
meridiem  versus  quadringcntes  fere  passuum  millibus,  inclinatusque  fere  ad  Enroavistnim. 
Leo  Af. 


184  MISSION  TO  A8HANTEE. 

plant  extensively  :  the  soil  is  red  earth.  A  smaller  kingdom  called 
Filladoo  or  Firrasoo,  is  in  the  neighbourhood.  Five  journies  north 
of  Doowarra  is  the  Niger,  and  on  an  island,  about  a  mile  from  the 
southern  bank,  is  Jenne.  The  route  from  Kong  to  Jenne  is  the 
only  one  which  has  not  been  checked  by  Negro  evidence,  but  I 
had  reason  to  think  well  of  the  Moor  who  furnished  it,  who  never 
contradicted  himself,  though  repeatedl}^  cross  questioned  during 
the  four  months  I  was  at  Coomassie.  Tlie  places  reported  to  Mr. 
Park  on  this  route,  it  is  true,  are  none  of  them  mentioned,  but,  pro- 
bably, the  people  who  were  insuperably  adverse  to  his  proceeding, 
were  the  least  likely  to  satisfy  his  curiosity  but  by  imposing  on 
him.*  Mr.  Park  in  his  route  from  Sego  to  Baedoo,  has  a  town 
called  Doowassoo,  only  four  journies  from  Sego  ;  but  I  was  assured 
repeatedly  that  Doowarra  is  a  powerful  kingdom.  In  the  first 
Mission,  Mr.  Park  reported  the  kingdom  of  Gotta  to  be  so  close  to 
the  Niger,  that  its  chief,  Mobsee,  embarked  on  it  to  attack  Jinnie, 
and  Major  Rennell  has  placed  it  accordingly  :  but,  in  the  second, 
he  writes,  "  one  month's  travel  south  of  Baedoo,"  (which  he  makes 
30  journies  soutliAvard  of  Sego)  "  through  the  kingdom  of  Gotto, 
will  bring  the  traveller  to  the  country  of  the  Christians,  who  have 
their  houses  on  the  banks  of  the  Ba  Sea  Fecna."  He  says  the  Ba 
Nimma  rises  in  the  Kong  mountains  south  of  Marraboo,  but  does 
not  mention  the  kingdom  of  Kong  in  his  route,  which  is  about  one 
moon's  travel  from  the  sea,  as  he  has  described   Baedoo  to   be. 

*  "  To  what  degree  the  natives  of  Silla  would  have  contradicted  each  other  in  their 
accounts  of  Tombuctoo,  Park's  short  stay  there  could  not  have  allowed  him  time  to 
ascertain,  even  if  his  knowledge  of  their  language  had  enabled  him  to  understand  tlieir 
accounts  as  well  as  he  did  those  of  the  slatees  on  the  Gambia. 

"  Several  instances  of  the  contradictory  testimony  of  the  Negroes  occur  in  Park's 
travels,  Jennie,  for  instance,  is  stated  in  his  first  Mission  to  be  situated  on  the  ^'^'iger,  but 
on  his  second  journey  he  renounces  that  opinion,  on  the  apparently  good  autiiority  of  an 
old  Somonie  (canoe  man)  who  had  been  seven  times  at  Tombuctoo,"    Adams's  Editor. 


GEOGRAPHY.  185 

Now  it  is  very  unlikely,  if  Baedoo  had  been  but  20  journies  from 
Coomassie,  thai  we  should  not  have  heard  of  it ;  and  it  is  next  to 
impossible,  that  if  any  kingdom  called  Gotto  laid  still  nearer, 
(which  it  must  have  done,  to  have  been  passed  through  from  Baedoo 
to  the  sea)  that  it  should  have  been  unknown.  Indeed,  if  the 
kingdom  of  Bambarra  extended  28  days  south  of  Sego,  as  appears 
by  the  route  given  to  Mr.  Park,  the  Ashantees  would  not  have 
spoken  of  it  from  mere  report,  but  would  probably  have  become 
acquainted  with  it,  either  through  war,  commerce,  or  negotiation. 
It  is  a  little  extraordinary  that  the  kingdom  of  Ashantee,  reported 
as  eminently  powerful  to  Mr.  Lucas  even  so  far  distant  as  Mesu- 
rata,  and  which  must  be  well  known  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
Jenne,  from  the  number  of  Moors  who  visit  it  from  that  city, 
should  not  even  have  been  noticed  to  Mr.  Park  in  this  southern 
route  from  Silla  or  Sego  to  the  sea.  Mr.  Park  writes  of  the  Moors 
not  being  able  to  subject  Jinbala;  I  believe  they  insinuate  them- 
selves as  residents  every  where,  but  I  could  not  hear  of  their 
having  established  themselves  by  force,  or  of  their  composing  even 
the  greater  part  of  a  population  any  where.* 

*  Mr.  Hutchison  writes,  that  from  Inta  to  Jenne  is  said  to  be  41  journies.  This 
Gentleman,  the  Resident  at  Coomassie,  merely  accompanied  the  Mission  to  act  in  that 
capacity  in  case  the  object  could  be  accomplished,  and  was  not  instructed  to  report :  the 
officer  conducting  the  Mission  being  responsible  to  the  extent  of  his  industry,  and  the 
opportunities,  for  the  various  desiderata,  excepting  the  Botanical  and  Medical,  which  were 
expected  from  the  Surgeon,  Mr.  Tedlie.  Mr.  Hutchison's  time  was  much  employed  in 
making  duplicates  and  copies  of  the  frequent  and  voluminous  dispatches  to  head  quarters. 
The  Moors  dishking  even  a  second  European  to  be  present  at  their  geographical  com- 
munications, Mr.  Hutchison,  through  his  obliging  disposition,  which  accommodated 
itself  to  every  thing  auxiliary  to  the  pursuits  of  the  Mission,  rendered  me  a  great  service, 
and  quieted  the  uneasiness  of  the  Moors  by  keeping  watch,  and  diverting  the  various 
Ashantee  visitors  who  would  have  intruded,  with  great  patience  and  address.  There 
was  no  time  even  for  a  communication  of  the  data  I  had  collected  before  the  Mission  left 
Coomassie,  for  we  may  be  said  to  have  lived  in  pubhc  the  latter  part  of  the  four  months, 

Bb 


186  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Havino  reached  the  Niger  it  is  time  to  observe,  that  it  is  onl}' 
known  to  the  Moors  by  the  name  of  Quolla,  pronounced  rather  as 
Quorra  by  the  Negroes,  Avho,  from  whatever  countries  they  came, 
all  spoke  of  this  as  the  largest  river  they  knew ;  and  it  was  the 
grand  feature  in  all  the  routes  (whether  from  Houssa,  Bornoo,  or 
the  intermediate  countries)  to  Ashantee.  Mr.  Horneman  wrote 
that  the  Niger,  in  some  parts  of  Houssa,  was  called  Gaora,  which 
must  sound  very  like  Quorra.    The  Niger,  after  leaving  the  lake 

and  Mr.  Hutchison's  genius  inclining  more  to  the  cultivation  of  the  Ashantee  and  Arabic 
languages,  wliich  I  had  no  doubt  would  yield  to  his  great  industry,  I  did  not  intrude 
less  congenial  pursuits  on  liis  attention,  (the  desiderata  having  been  amply  realized,)  but 
merely  requested  he  woidd  let  me  know  what  any  intelligent  ]\Ioor,  arriving  after  my 
departure,  might  say  of  the  Interior,  and,  if  possible,  procure  a'chart  from  him,  especially 
if  he  was  not  a  native  of  Houssa  or  Bornoo,  ■which  two  of  the  TNIoors  who  had  drawn  for 
me  were.  After  I  had  finished  my  Geographical  Report,  Mr.  Hutchison  sent,  with  some 
other  interesting  particulars,  added  as  notes  with  his  initials,  a  chart  drawn  by  a  Jenne 
Moor  just  arrived,  confirming  all  I  had  collected  in  the  most  satisfactory  manTier.  The 
names  of  the  countries  from  the  source  of  the  Niger  to  Eg\']3t  were  written  in  Arabic, 
with  IMr.  Hutchison's  expression  of  the  pronunciation  in  English  opposite.  I  particularly 
recollect  that  his  ear  differed  somewhat  from  mine,  which  accounts  for  the  trifling  diffe- 
rences in  our  spelling.  I  shewed  Mr.  Hutchison  my  charts  as  curiosities,  but  he  took 
no  minutes  of  the  names,  uninteresting  from  his  never  having  had  an  opportunity  of 
reading  Major  Rennell's  Dissertations,  which  would  alone  make  them  so  to  any  one.  He 
gives  a  better  proof  of  tliis,  than  my  own  impression,  by  the  following  extract  from  his 
letter  to  me,  accompanying  the  chart :  "  The  Bornoo  you  used  to  talk  about,  you  will 
find  the  same  as  the  lake  Chaudi,  or  Al  Bahare  Noohoo,  or  else  you  know  a  country  I 
I  do  not  recollect  hearing  of;"  but,  in  the  postscript,  he  writes,  "  On  looking  over  my 
memoranda,  I  find  Bornoo  is  tlie  principal  monarchy  the  Arabs  alone  stand  in  awe  of, 
and  one  of  the  four  kingdoms  best  known  on  the  Quolla."  Mr.  Hutchison  iincoiisciously 
confirming  what  I  had  learned,  is  even  more  satisfactory  than  if  I  had  left  him  any  basis 
for  his  enquiries ;  indeed,  his  own  object,  the  acquirement  of  the  language,  was  too  im- 
portant to  be  interrupted  unnecessarily.  Before  I  attach  any  quotation  from  this  Gentle- 
man's letters,  I  must  acknowledge  the  assistance  I  had  previously  derived  from  his 
spirited  zeal  as  an  officer,  as  well  as  that  which  lias  since  resulted  from  his  interest  in 
intellectual  pursuits. 


GEOGRAPHY.  187 

Dibbir,  was  invariably  described  as  dividing  in  two  large  streams; 
the  Quolla,  the  greater,  pursuing  its  course  south-eastward  until  it 
joined  the  Bahr  Abiad,  and  the  other  branch  running  northward 
of  east  near  Timbuctoo,  and  dividing  again  soon  afterwards ;  the 
smaller  stream  running  northwards  by  Yahoodee,  a  place  of  great 
trade,*  and  the  larger  turning  directl}''  eastward,  and  increasing 
considerably,  running  to  the  lake  Caudi  or  Cadi  under  the  name  of 
Gambaroo.-j-  The  Moors  call  the  branch  running  by  Timbuctoo 
the  JoUiba,  I  presume  figuratively,  as  a  great  water,  for  I  was 
assured  by  a  native  of  Jenne,  who  had  frequently  visited  Timbuctoo, 
that  this  branch  was  called  Zah-mer  by  the  Negroes.;}: 

The  variety  of  the  concurrent  evidence  respecting  the  Gambaroo, 
certainly  made  an  impression  on  my  mind  almost  amounting  to 
conviction.  De  Lisle,  in  his  map  of  Africa  for  the  use  of  Louis  XV. 
(the  accuracy  of  which  in  one  point  where  our  latest  charts  are  in 
error,  the  Lagos  river,  will  be  shewn  towards  the  close  of  this 
Report)  makes  a  branch  from  the  Niger  running  near  Timbuctoo  ; 
and  what  is  even  more  to  the  point,  writes  "  Gambarou  ou  Niger." 
It  was  not  till  sometime  after  my  return  from  Ashantee,  that  I  un- 
expectedly discovered  this  solitary  European  record   of  such  a 

*  The  Moors  particularly  mentioned  buying  their  writing  paper  there.  One  told  me 
that  the  Joliba  ran  to  a  river  called  Hotaiba  after  it  passed  Yahoodee,  which  river  ran 
towards  Toonis.  Several  talked  of  vessels  coming  to  Yahoodee,  navigated  by  white  men, 
but  whence  I  could  not  learn,  and  Brahima  had  never  visited  it,  though  such  reports 
were  familiar  to  him. 

■f  The  rivers  Arauca  and  Capanaparo  in  Cumana  form  bifurcations  similar  to  those  of 
the  Niger.  The  Arauca  divides  itself  into  two  rivers,  the  northern  one,  the  Arauquito, 
runs  through  the  lake  Cabullarito  into  the  Orinoco,  and  the  southern  retaining  the  name 
of  Arauca,  also  flows  to  the  Orinoco.  The  Capanaparo  falls  into  the  Orinoco  in4wo 
streams,  the  northern  retaining  the  original  name,  and  the  southern  acquiring  tliat  of 
Mina.     See  Humboldt's  map  of  the  eastern  part  of  the  province  of  Vcrina. 

};  See  note,  p.  189. 


188  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

name,  and  it  will  at  least  be  allowed  that  so  respectable  a  character 
as  De  Lisle,  would  neither  have  laid  down  the  branch  from  the 
Niger  (for  it  is  as  likely  to  be  so  in  the  absence  of  explanation,  as 
a  river  running  into  it)  without  some  authority,  nor  have  invented 
the  name  Gambarou :  and  it  will  also  be  allowed,  that  he  must 
have  heard  of  it  as  being  a  very  large  river,  to  have  confounded  it 
with  the  Niger.  De  Lisle  has  preserved  most  of  the  names  reported 
to  me,  more  closely  than  any  other  geographer.*  In  the  judicious 
compendium  of  Mr.  Murray,  I  observe  the  following  note.  "  It  is 
but  justice  to  D'Anville  to  say,  that  in  his  map  of  central  Africa, 
inserted  in  the  26th  volume  of  the  Academic  des  Inscriptions,  he 
has  represented  a  river  passing  close  to  Timbuctoo,  running  S.W., 
and  falling  into  the  Niger.  This  delineation  has  not  been  copied  by 
others,  but  it  is  not  the  less  probable  that  that  excellent  geographer 
may  have  had  positive  information  on  which  to  found  it."  Now, 
I  may  presume,  this  is  only  recorded  in  delineation,  and  not 
noticed  by  D'Anville  in  the  text,  or,  his  authority  would  have 
appeared.     I  shall  be  indulged  in  such  a  conjecture,  when  it  is 

*  "  No  one  -who  compares  the  maps  of  De  Lisle  and  D'Anville  with  the  materials 
then  published,  can  doubt  the  excellent  means  of  information  with  which  they  must  have 
been  supplied  both  by  government,  and  by  private  individuals."     Murray. 

We  find  a  remarkable  instance  of  De  Lisle's  accuracy  in  Major  Rermell's  construction 
of  the  geography  of  Mr.  Horneman''s  expedition.  "  Mr.  Horneman  was  informed  that 
there  are  101  inhabited  places  in  Fezzan."  It  is  remarkable  that  this  is  precisely  the 
number  stated  in  ]\I.  Delisle's  map  of  Africa,  drawn  in  1707;  and,  according  to  INIr. 
Beaufoy's  informant,  there  are  nearly  100. 

I  have  since  found  an  older  authority  for  the  name  Gambaroo,  and  which  also  shews 
that  the  name  Quolla  and  its  connection  with  the  Gambaroo,  have  not  been  wholly 
unkoown  hitherto.  It  is  in  the  L'Afrique  de  Marmol,  livre  viii.  chap.  3.  "  Cest  une 
chose  estrange  que  ce  fleuve  venant  de  si  loin,  car  Ptolomee  le  fait  venir  du  lac  Quelo- 
nide,  et  de  celui  de  Nuba,  il  n'cntraine  pas  taut  d'eaux  par  ce  coste-la,  et  la  mar&  ne 
monte  pas  si  avant,  que  jxir  rautrc  bras  que  Ton  appdJc  Gambcr.'"  One  may  almost 
fancy  Quolla  and  Quellonidc  to  have  been  derived  from  the  Chalonides  of  Ptolemy.    . 


GEOGRAPHY.  189 

recollected  I  am  writing  where  I  cannot  satisfy  myself,  in  a  place 
destitute  of  literary  facilities.  If  it  is  only  to  be  found  in  the  deli- 
neation, it  is  of  course,  as  likely  to  be  a  branch  running  N.  E.  from 
the  Niger,  as  a  river  running  S.W.  into  it.  Mr.  Park  has  described 
the  Niger  as  dividing  into  two  large  branches  after  leaving  Dibbie, 
and  their  re-union  has  been  admitted  by  considerate  investigators, 
to  be  a  very  improbable  addition  to  that  report.*  Sidi  Hamet 
assigns  no  course  to  the  great  river  which  he  described  as  about 
an  hour's  ride  with  a  camel  south  of  Tirabuctoo,  and  distinguished 
from  the  Niger,  or,  as  he  called  it,  Zolilib,  by  saying  the  latter  was 
two  hours  ride.  Adams  placed  La-mar-Zarah,  about  three  quar- 
ters of  a  mile  wide,  two  miles  south  of  the  town,  without  hesitation, 
but  he  only  conceived  that  the  course  was  S.  W.-f-  Leo,  ambiguous 
as  the  context  may  be,  certainly  writes  that  there  is  a  branch  of  the 
Niger  passing  Timbuctoo,  "  Vicino  a  un  ramo  del  Niger."  Mr. 
Beaufoy's  Moor  says  that  below  Ghinea  is  the  sea  into  Avhich  the 
river  of  Tombuctoo  disembogues  itself;  on  which  Major  Rennell 
observes,  "  by  the  word  sea,  it  is  well  known  the  Arabs  mean  to 

*  "  The  fact  of  a  large  lake  like  the  Dibbie,  discharging  its  waters  by  two  streams 
flowing  from  distant  parts  of  the  lake,  and  re-uniting  after  a  separate  course  of  a  hundred 
miles  in  length,  has  always  appeared  to  us  extremely  apocryphal,  at  least  we  believe  that 
the  geography  of  the  world  does  not  afford  a  parallel  case."     Adams's  Editor. 

•f-  "  According  to  these  statements  of  the  Moorish  traders,  Adams  would  seem  to  have 
mistaken  the  course  of  the  stream  at  Tombuctoo.  In  fact,  I  do  not  recollect  that  he  told 
me  at  Mogadore  that  it  flowed  in  a  westerly  direction :  but,  I  think,  I  am  correct  in 
saying,  that  he  discovered  some  uncertainty  in  speaking  upon  this  subject,  (and  almost 
upon  this  subject  alone)  observing,  in  answer  to  my  inquiries,  that  he  had  not  taken  very 
particular  notice,  and  that  the  river  was  steady,  without  any  appearance  of  a  strong 
current."     Dupuis  on  Adams. 

Adams's  name,  La-mar-Zarah  (for  of  course  he  did  not  attach  La  mar  to  indicate 
water,  but  pronounced  La-mar-Zarah,  as  an  integral  name)  seems  accounted  for  by  his 
confounding  or  connecting  the  Arabic  name  of  the  river,  Lahamar,  with  the  Negro  name 
Vfa  (for  we  find  these  names  in  Marmol,  tom.  3.  liv.  8.)  making  Lahama)--i/^a,  La-mar- 
Zarah. 


190  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

express  a  lake  also :"  this  river  of  Tirabuctoo  is,  doubtless,  the 
branch  of  the  Niger  forming  the  Gambaroo,  and  the  sea  below 
Ghinea,  the  lake  Caude.  In  the  Description  de  I'Afrique,  traduite 
du  Flamand,  D'O  Dapper,  a  Amsterdam,  1686,  I  find  "  Ce 
Royaume  de  Tombut  ou  Tongbutu  environ  k  quatre  lieues  d'uh 
bras  du  Niger."  The  account,  to  be  submitted  presentl}^  that  this 
branch  of  the  Niger  passing  Timbuctoo  is  not  crossed  until  the 
third  day  going  from  Timbuctoo  to  Houssa,  is  not  an  argument 
against  its  identity  with  the  Zarah  of  Adams,  or  the  river  of  Sidi 
Hamet,  only  two  or  three  miles  from  the  city  ;  because,  giving  a 
northerly  course  to  the  branch,  and  Houssa  laying  north  eastward 
20  journies  from  Timbuctoo,  as  will  be  shewn  presently,  the  direc- 
tion of  the  path  would  not  require  the  river  to  be  crossed  imme- 
diately, but,  evidently,  not  till  the  second  or  third  day. 

De  Barros,  who  considered  the  Senegal  to  be  the  Niger,  wrote, 
that  it  received  various  names,*  and  was  called  by  the  Caragoles 
(Serawoollies)  Colle ;  on  which  Mr.  Murray  reasonably  observes, 
"  this  name  seems  readily  convertible  into  Joli-ba,  the  latter 
syllable  being  merely  an  adjunct,  meaning  a  river:"  this  I  was 
also  given  to  understand.  Now,  if  the  name  Joliba  had  not  been 
reported  on  the  authority  of  Mr.  Park,  I  might  submit  that  Colle 
is  more  readily  convertible  into  Quolla,  which  approximating  even 
more  closely  to  Kulla,  seems  to  identify  the  Colle  and  KuUa  under 
the  common  name  of  Quolla.-f    Mr.  Park  in  his  memoir  to  Lord 

*  Les  S^negurs  le  nomment  Senedec,  les  Jalofes  Dengueli,  les  Turcorons  qui  sont 
plus  au-dedans  du  pays  Maye,  les  Saragoles  qui  sont  plus  haut  Colle,  et  en  un  contree 
plus  vers  Torient  Zimbale  :  au  royaume  de  Torabut  on  le  nomme  Y^a.  Marmol,  torn.  3, 
livre  8.  The  name  Zimbale  must  be  derived  from  Jimballa,  by  which  country  the  river 
passes;  it  occurs  in  the  route  from  Shego  to  Timbuctoo.    P.  194. 

f  Kulla,  in  the  Mallowa,  if  not  in  the  Kassina  language,  means  child ;  perhaps,  allegory 
being  the  character  of  African  language,  the  southern  river  may  be  called  Quolla  or 
Jiulla,  from  being  a  branch  onlv  of  the  great  river  which  forms  it  and  the  Gambaroo, 


GEOGRAPHY.  191 

Camden,  writes,  "  the  river  of  Dar  KuUa,  mentioned  by  Mr. 
BroAvne,  is  generally  supposed  to  be  the  Niger,  or  at  least  to  have 
a  communication  with  that  river."  The  name  and  course  of  the 
Quolla  suggested  this  to  me  before  I  observed  the  above  remark, 
which  I  did  not  until  my  return.*  Other  arguments  will  presently 
appear  for  the  identity  of  the  Kulla  and  the  Niger.-f- 

The  Gambaroo  seems  to  me  to  identify  the  Gir  of  Ptolemy ,J 
carried  by  him  into  the  centre  of  Africa,  and  which  would  appear 
as  large  as  the  Niger  by  the  expression,  "  maximi  sunt  Gir  et 
Nigir."  The  river  of  Bornoo,  hitherto  assumed,  is  not  adequate  to 
the  impression  Ptolemy  conveys,  and  the  names  "  Gir  et  Nigir," 
seem  to  indicate  a  connection.  The  Niger  may  be  considered  to 
terminate  when  the  smaller  stream  is  lost  in  the  Nile. 

Concerning  the  source  of  the  Niger,  there  was  a  difference  of 
opinion  amongst  the  Moors,  and  not  the  least  notion  amongst  the 
Negroes.  Some  said  that  it  rose  in  Bambooch,  meaning,  as  I  pre- 
sume, Bambouk,  and  others  in  Jabowa,  where  they  described 
another  large  river  to  rise  also,  running  westward.  Jabowa  was 
said  to  be  40  journies  from  Sego,  and  Bambooch  43. 

From  Jabowa  the  Niger  was  described  to  run  to  Fouta  Gollabi, 
and  in  six  days  thence  to  Fouta  Towra ;  the  Moors  must  certainly 
have  meant  Foota  Galla,  and  Footatora,  for  their  pronunciation 

*  See  the  account  of  the  large  interior  river  known  at  Gaboon,  under  the  name  of 
Wole  or  Wolela. 

"f"  "  There  is  one  thing  that  disagrees  wth  Mr.  Park's  account,  tliey  call  the  Niger 
Quolla  at  Jenne,  Sansanding,  &c.  &c.  and  describe  the  Jolliba  as  falling  into  the  Quolla 
east  of  Timbuctoo.'"     W.  H. 

The  Moors  invariably  reported  to  me  that  it  ran  from  it.  Mr.  H.  might  perhaps 
liave  misunderstood  the  Jenne  Moor,  whose  single  authority  cannot  be  opposed  to  the 
concurrence  of  several. 

\  Illorum  vero  qui  per  interiorera  jEthiopiam  fluant,  quique  fontes  et  ostia  in  conti- 
nente  habent  maximi  sunt  Gir  et  Niglr.     (Lib.  2.  E.  1.  De  xaa.^im\sfluminihiis.y 


192  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

was  more  imperfect  than  their  knowledge  of  tlie  native  names 
westward,  whither  they  rarely  travelled.  I  induced  a  Moor  on 
each  side  the  (juestion,  and  of  different  countries,  to  draw  in  my 
quarters,  unknown  to  each  other,  what  they  called  a  chart  of  the 
Quolla,  for  the  sake  of  preserving  the  several  names  in  their  own 
writing.  They  were  only  inferior  to  one  Moor,  from  whom  I 
never  had  an  opportunity  of  inducing  a  chart.  Both  parties  met, 
apparently,  at  Hasoo,  as  will  be  seen  by  submitting  the  names.* 

Bambooch.  Jabowa. 

Jonmies. 

10  to  Gadima,  probably  Gadoo,  little  more  than  6* 
journies  from  the  capital  of  Bambook, 
according  to  Major  Rennell. 
20  to  Hasoo  -  _  -  -  Hasoowa. 

4  to  Jaoora  -  -  -  -  Jaoona. 
2  to  Jamoo         _             -             _             _             >      Gamsoo. 

5  to  Mallaia  -  .  _  _  Mallaiu. 
2  to  Sh62;o         _            _             _             _            -      Sego. 

Sego  was  correctly  described  according  to  Mr.  Park,  and  the 
death  of  the  monarch  he  first  knew  spontaneously  mentioned,  with 
his  M^arlike  disposition,  and  great  power.    Mr.  Park  observes  that  he 

*  The  Jenne  Moor  does  not  appear  to  liave  been  so  particiilai'ly  acquainted  with  tlie 
sourcex)f  the  Niger.  He  has  drawn  two  hills,  from  one  of  which  springs  a  lai'ge  river  he 
could  not  name,  running  westward,  the  other  is  the  source  of  the  Quolla,  and  Mr.  Hut- 
chison has  written  its  name  Bieteerilmlloo.  Between  this  source  and  Mala,  the  King  of 
which  he  describes  as  a  great  monarch,  he  mentions  no  towns  or  kingdoms.  This  Mala 
is  the  Malay  of  the  Moorish  charts  I  procured,  between  the  source  and  which  five  places 
or  countries  were  written.  Mr.  Hutchison  writes  the  course  thus,  without  time  or  dis- 
tance. Mala,  Bambarra,  Shego,  Sansanding,  Jena,  Masiiina,  Dahleii  (a  small  croom  on 
the  lake  Dibber,)  Kabarra :  he  adds,  cannibals  are  close  to  the  Joliba,  and  30  joiu-nies 
from  'limbuctoo,  they  eat  their  prisoners :  the  dead  of  tlieii-  own  people  are  put  in  the 
Jioliba,  in  wooden  coffins. 


GEOGRAPHY. 


133 


found  the  language  of  Bambarra  a  sort  of  corrupted  Mandingo ; 
this  confirms  the  numerals  repeated  to  me  as  the  Bambarra : 


Bambarra. 

Mandingo. 

One     - 

-     KiUi 

Killin. 

Two 

FooUa 

Foola. 

Three 

Sabba 

Sabba. 

Four 

Nani     - 

-     Nani. 

Five    - 

-    Looroo 

Looloo. 

Six    - 

Wora    - 

-   Woro. 

Seven 

Worroola 

Oronglo. 

Eight 

Sagi      - 

-     Sie. 

Nine 

Konunto 

Konunto. 

Ten     - 

-    Ta     - 

-        Tang. 

From  Sego  to  Sansanding  was  called  one  journey,  from  Sansanding 
to  Jenne  three.  Jenne  was  described  as  on  an  island  of  tlie  Niger, 
the  town  considerable,  and  fortified,  and  with  Lirge  houses  to  pray 
in.  I  did  not  understand  that  it  was  subject  to  Timbuctoo ;  it  cer- 
tainly has  a  distinct  monarch,  who  was  called  Malai  Smaera,  and 
the  head  Moor,  Malai  Bacharoo.  From  Jenne  through  Dibbir,  at 
the  entrance  of  which  is  Sanina,  to  Kabarra  or  Kabra,  the  port  of 
Timbuctoo  (half  a  day's  walk  from  it)  is  a  voj-age  of  20  days.  By 
land,  it  was  only  12  journies,  through  Mashena  (Masina)  Farri- 
mabbie,  Jimballa  (the  Jinbala  of  Mr.  Park,  which  they  persisted 
was  not  on  an  island  of  the  Niger,  but  on  the  northern  bank  of  it) 
Taakim,  Assoofoo,  Zeddai,  DetH-ai  (probably  the  Downie  in  Major 
Rennell's  map)  Matarooch,  and  Makkasoorfoo,  probably  the 
Soorka's,  whom  Mr.  Park  mentioned  as  inhabiting  the  northern 
bank  of  the  river  between  Jinnie  and  Timbuctoo :  he  also  writes 
that  it  is  12  journies  by  land  from  Jinnie  to  Timbuctoo.  The  hori- 
zontal distance  from  Jenne  to  Jimballa,  on  Major  Rennell's  map 
is  about  100  B.  miles,  and  thence  to  Timbuctoo  90  more.     Now 

c  c 


194  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

12  journies  at  18  miles,  give  but  a  horizontal  distance  of  144  B. 
miles,  wherefore.  I  should  think  the  northern  bank  of  the  lake 
Dibbir,  is  not  so  high  as  it  has  been  hitherto  drawn,  and  the  path 
so  distant  as  not  to  be  deflected  by  any  curve  of  the  lake.  Tim- 
buctoo  was  described  as  a  large  city,  but  inferior  to  Houssa,  and 
not  comparable  with  Bornoo.  The  Moorish  influence  was  said  to 
be  powerful,  but  not  superior.  A  small  river  goes  nearly  round 
the  town,  overflowing  in  the  rains,  and  obliging  the  people  of  the 
suburbs  to  move  to  an  eminence  in  the  centre  of  the  town,  where 
the  King  lives.  This  is,  probably,  the  smaller  river  described  by 
Sidi  Hamet  as  close  to  the  town.  Leo  says,  when  the  Niger  rises, 
the  waters  flow  through  certain  canals  to  the  city.  There  were 
very  few  muskets  to  be  seen ;  the  King,  a  Moorish  Negro  called 
Billabahada,  had  a  few  double  barrelled  guns,  which  were  only 
fired  at  customs,  and  gunpowder  was  almost  as  valuable  as  gold. 
The  two  latter  circumstances,  besides  the  name  of  the  river,  Avere 
all  that  I  recognised  in  their  reports  confirming  the  description 
given  by  Adams,  which  I  conceive  to  be  as  inadequate  as  those 
collected  by  Mr.  Jackson  are  extravagant.*  The  three  last  Kings 
before  Billa,  were  Osamana,  Dawoolloo,  and  Abass.  Mr.  Jackson 
says  there  was  a  King  Woollo  reigning  in  1800,  and  a  Moor  who 
had  come  from  Timbuctoo  to  Coomassie  ten  years  ago,  did  not 

*  The  following  sentence  in  the  description  of  Leo,  conveys  an  idea  of  the  decline  or 
decay  of  the  city.  "  Ciijus  domus  omnes  in  tiiguriola  cretacea  strainincis  tectis  sunt 
mutatoc.'"  Yet  immediately  after  we  receive  the  contrary  impression  on  reading  "  Visitur 
lamen  elegantissimum  quoddam  templum  cujus  murus  ex  lapidibus  atque  cake  vivo  est 
fabricatus:  deinde  et  palacium  quoddam  regiiim  quodam  Granato  viro  artificissimo  con. 
ditum.  Freqiicntissima;  hie  sunt  artificum  mercatorum  praecipiie  autem  telae  atque 
gossypii  textorum  officins ;  hue  mercatores  Barbari  pannum  ex  Europa  adferunt."  In 
the  Description  de  I'Afrique  en  Flamand,  published  about  a  century  and  a  half  after- 
wards, the  author  seems  to  be  aware  of  the  advanced  decline  or  decay  of  Timbuctoo. 
I*  Les  maisons  etoient  autrefois  fort  sumptueuses,  raais  elles  ne  sent  maintenant  que  de 
bois  enduites  de  terre  grasse  et  couvertes  de  paiile." 


GEOGRAPHY.  195 

know  King  Woollo  (Adams's  King)  was  dead,  as  he  was  reigning 
at  the  time  he  left  Timbuctoo.  Abass  probably  had  a  short  reign 
like  Sai  Apokoo  the  second.  This  Moor  also  said  that  WooUo's 
favourite  wife  (called  by  Adams,  Fatima)  was  named  Eatooma 
Allizato.  The  editor  of  Adams  shews  that  the  name  of  Fatima, 
affords  in  itself  no  proof  that  its  possessor  was  Moorish,  or  even  a 
Mohammedan  woman.  I  think  it  is  probably  derived  from  a 
numeral,  for  it  answers  to  five  in  the  numerals  of  Garangi  (a 
country  described  to  be  northwards  of  Jenne)  which  are 


One    - 

-     Kerriminna! 

Two 

Ferriminna. 

Three 

Sowaninna. 

Four 

Firrima. 

Five 

Fahtiraa. 

Six     - 

-       Tata. 

Seven 

Mannima. 

Eight 

Pirima. 

Nine 

Missirima. 

Ten     - 

Guahee. 

Numerals  are  frequently  added  to  names  in  Ashantee. 

Perhaps  the  old  ms.  which  I  purchased  with  difficulty  from  a 
Jenne  Moor,  will  recompense  the  translator  by  a  fuller  account, 
but  I  fear  religion  only  is  the  subject.  It  contains  thirteen  i)ages, 
with  some  marginal  notes  in  a  different  hand.  I  should  have 
observed,  that,  generally  speaking,  I  found  the  Moors  vei'y  cautious 
in  their  accounts,  declining  to  speak  unless  they  were  positive,  and 
frequently  referring  doubtful  points  to  others  whom  they  knew  to 
be  better  acquainted  with  them.  I  did  not  succeed  in  procuring 
the  numerals  of  Timbuctoo,  but  the  language  is  different  from  that 
of  Houssa,  as  the  words  opposed  to  those  recollected  by  Adams 
will  shew : 


196 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 


Timbitctoo.  Iloussa. 

Man         -        Jungo         -         -    Motoo. 

Woman  Jumpsa  -         Motee. 

Camel        -      So         -  -         Rakoomee. 

Dog        -         Killab         -        -    Karree. 

Cow     -         -    Fallee    -         -         Sanea. 

House         -       Dah         -  -     Garree. 

Water       -         Boca  -  Looa. 

Tree    -        -    Carna  -  Leesee'a. 

Gold         -Or         -  -      Jennarrea. 

A  Moor       -      Seckar  -  Bibay. 

From  Timbuctoo  *  to  Houssa  is  20  journies  ;  the  three  first 
through  a  woody  country,  and  over  the  branch  of  the  Niger  to 
Azibbie,  the  frontier  town.  Houssa  was  said  to  be  the  largest  city 
north  or  south  of  the  Quolla,  except  Bornoo ;  the  Moorish  influ- 
ence to  have  been  established  there  beyond  memory,  and  the 
King's  name  Serragkee.  Cabi  is  not  the  name  of  the  kingdom, 
but  of  a  large  dependent  town  and  district  on  the  Niger.  Mallowa, 
or  Marrowa,  as  the  Negroes  pronounce  it,  (for  they  seemed  inva- 
riably to  substitute  r  for  the  /  of  the  Moors,  as  Quorra  for  Quolla)-f 


*  "  All  the  country  from  where  the  Joliba  discharges  itself  into  the  Quolla  is  subject 
to  the  Sultan  Mallsimiel.  What  makes  the  Sultan  of  Timbu'^too  so  much  talked  of,  is 
his  being  near  the  water  side ;  but  his  master,  the  Sultan  of  Malisimiel  considers  him 
merely  as  a  deputy  or  governor.  The  four  greatest  monarchs  known  on  the  banks  of 
the  Quolla,  are  Baliarnoo,  Santambool,  Malisimiel,  and  Malla."  W.  H.  Malla  is 
Mallowa. 

•)■  The  Chaymas  substitute  r  for  I,  a  substitution  that  arises  from  a  defect  of  pronun- 
ciation, common  in  every  zone.  The  substitution  of  r  for  I  characterizes,  for  example, 
the  Bashmouric  dialect  of  the  Coptic  language.  It  is  thus  that  tlie  Caribbees  of  the 
Oroonoko  have  been  transformed  into  Galibi,  in  French  Guiann,  by  confounding  r  with 
/,  and  softening  the  c.  The  Tamanach  has  made  choraro  (solalo)  of  the  Spanish  word 
soldado.""    Humboldt's  personal  narrative,  book  iii.  chap.  9. 


GEOGRAPHY.  197 

is  the  next  extensive  in  its  limits  to  Bornoo.  It  is,  no  doubt,  the 
kingdom  of  Mell^,  misplaced  by  Leo,  and  reported  to  Cadamosto 
in  1455,  as  30  journies  beyond  Timbuctoo.  Major  Rennell  ob- 
serves, "  we  should  naturally  look  for  it  on  the  eastward  of 
Timbuctoo,^'  and  it  has  only  been  placed  south  eastward,  and 
south  of  the  Niger,  because  Edrisi  has  a  city  called  Malel  there- 
abouts, though  he  calls  the  name  of  the  kingdom  of  which  it  is  the 
capital  Landam,  which  Hartman  would  reconcile  by  supj)osing  it 
to  be  a. transposition  of  Malel,  certainly  a  forced  conjecture.*  A 
large  town  called  Mahalaba  is  the  nearest  I  have  found  to  Malel, 
to  be  noticed  on  the  route  from  Dagwumba  to  the  Niger. -f-  In 
speaking  of  all  fortified  cities,  the  negroes  of  Mallowa  invariably 
prefixed  Berinne  orBrinne  to  the  nanje,  as  an  indication  that  they 
were  so  ;  this  was  always  the  case  in  mentioning  Houssa,  Cabi, 
Cassina,  Katinna,  &c.  &c.  I  shall  place  the  numerals  of  Cassina, 
as  written  by  Mr.  Lucas  after  the  Shereef  Imhammed,  to  the  right 
of  those  of  Houssa  or  Mallowa,  from  their  close  affinity,  perhaps 
identity  ;  for  this  language  is  spoken  far  eastward,  and  the  Shereef, 
as  we  shall  presently  see,  was  rather  inaccurate  in  his  recollection 
of  the  numerals  of  Bornoo. 

One  -  -     Daia  -  Deiyah. 

Two         -         -  Beeyoo  -  Beeyou. 

Three  -  -  Okoo  -  Okoo. 

Four         -  Odoo         -    "    -        Foodoo. 

Five  -  -     Be'a        -  -      Beat. 

*  The  position  of  Melle  is  further  confirmed  in  Dapper  "  Le  Roi  de  Tombut  prend  le 
nom  d'Empereur  de  Melli.""  This  title  seems  to  have  heen  transferred  to  the  King  of 
Houssa  from  the  decHne  of  Timbuctoo,  to  which  the  aggrandisement  of  the  former  city 
is  to  be  attributed. 

-}-  The  King  residing  in  Houssa  is  the  King  of  Malla ;  he  has  seven  tributary  Kings. 
W.  H. 


198  iMISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Six        -  -  Seddah  -  Sheedah. 

Seven  -    Becquay  -       Bookai. 

Eight         -         -  Tacquass         -  Takoos. 

Nine  -  -   Tarra  -  Tarrah, 

Ten         -  -         Gwoma  -          Goumah. 

Two  large  lakes  were  described  close  to  tiie  northward  of 
Houssa,  one  called  Balahar  Soudan,  and  the  other  Girrigi  Marra- 
gasee.  Calculating  the  20  journies  from  'J'imbuctoo  at  18  miles 
each,  supposing  two-thirds  to  be  made  good  on  the  horizontal 
distance  (equal  to  212  g.  miles)  and  the  course  N.  E.,  1  have 
placed  Houssa,  18°  59'  N.  and  3°  59'  E.  This  agrees  prelty  well 
with  the  account  of  ils  being  17  journies  from  the  Niger,  or  Quolla, 
which  give  306"  B.  miles,  and  the  horizontal  distance  176  g.  miles. 
Houssa  has  hitherto  been  laid  down  about  2  journies  N.  of  the 
Niger.  I  have  an  impression  that  the  city  of  Houssa  will  be  found 
to  lay  about  E.  N.  E.  of  Timbuctoo,  of  course  nearer  the  Gambaroo, 
which  runs  through  its  dominions,  and  thus  account  for  the  reports 
of  its  being  situated  upon  the  Niger.  Leo  certainly  meant  Mallowa 
and  the  Gambaroo,  when  he  wrote,  "  Melli  regio  quae  extendit  se 
ad  flumen  quoddam  quod  ex  Nilo  (i.  e.  Nigro)  effluit  trecenta 
millia  passuum,"  adding,  "  regnuni  opulcntlssimum,  niaxim^ 
artificum  et  mercatorum  copia,  frequentia  templa,  sacenlotes  et 
populus  qui  Nigritas  omnes  civilitate  antecedunt ;"  which  they 
certainly  appear  to  do :  see  a  few  of  their  articles  for  the  British 
Museum.  May  not  the  Maurali  of  Ptolemy  be  the  Mclli  of  Leo, 
and  the  modern  Mallowa  or  Marrowa?  his  large  adjunct  to  the 
Niger  to  the  south  indicates  the  two  rivers.  jSlajor  Rennell  seems 
to  have  expected  the  present  discovery,  when  he  writes  (canment- 
ing  on  Mr.  Park's  report  that  Houssa  was  30  journies  by  land  from 
Tombuctoo,  and  45  by  water)  "  Possibly  it  may  be  that  Houssa 
is  situated  on  a  different  river  from  that  which  passes  by  Tombuctoo 


GEOGRAPHY.  199 

(the  Joliba,)  but  which  may  be  an  adjunct  of  it,  and  may  run  into 
it  in  the  quarter  of  Tombuctoo."  In  Dapper's  translation  of  the 
Description  De  I'Afrique  du  Flamand,  1686, 1  find  "  Cette  contree 
(Melli)  s'etend  environ  cent  lieues  le  long  d'un  bras  du  Niger." 

Tarrabaleese,  50  journies  Avestvvard  of  north,  was  much  spoken 
of  from  the  number  of  its  market  places.  This  must  be  Tripoli,  the 
Arabic  corruption  of  which  is  Trabolis.  The  Moors  gave  me  a 
route  to  Tunis  or  Toonis,  but  I  cannot  recognise  any  name  in 
Major  Rennell's  map,  (which  I  could  not  procure  until  my  return,) 
unless  Sabbai  be  Sebba,  and  Mookanassa  Mourzouk,  in  Fezzan. 
There  is  also  another  route  eastward  which  I  cannot  trace.  See 
Appendix. 

From  Kabarra  the  QuoUa,  continuing  its  course  southward  of 
east,  passed  by  Uzzalin,  Googara,*  Koolmanna,  Gauw,  Tokogirrij 
(perhaps  the  Tokrur  of  Edrisi  and  Gatterer)  Aske'a,  Zabirme,  and 
Cabi  to  Yaoora,  which  1  imagine  to  be  the  Youri  of  Major  Ren- 
nell's map.f  De  Lisle  places  a  kingdom,  Yaouree,  south  of  the 
Niger.  It  is  a  very  celebrated  ferry,  occurring  in  a  variety  of 
routes  from  the  north  of  the  Quolhito  Ashantee,  spoken  of  always 
as  westward  of  Cassina,  and  with  little  variation  as  25  journies 
from  Timbuctoo.  Now  as  the  Moors  called  it  one  day's  journey 
from  Sego  to  Sansanding,  and  Mr.  Park  made  it  scarcely  more,  I 
will  assume  this  as  the  rule  to  calculate  the  distance  from  Timbuctoo 
to  Yaooree,  and  afterwards  consider  its  place  according  to  the 
routes  from  Dagwumba,  through  it,  to  Cassina.  Twenty  five 
journies  from  Timbuctoo  would  place  Yaoora  about  70  miles  above 

•  I  did  not  hear  of  the  Gotoijegee,  Carmasse,  or  Goumion  of  Amadi  Fatouma  ;  it  is 
clear  that  he  was  not  very  correct  in  names.  I  never  once  heard  Silla  called  Sellee, 
Dibble,  Sibbie,  or  Kabra,  Rakbarra. 

f  The  Jenne  Moor  notices  between  Kabarra  and  Cabi,  Gauw  (a  great  kingdom) 
Quoiilla,  Askea,  Zabirma.     Ptolemy  has  a  city  called  Geua  on  the  Gir. 


200  MLSSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

the  Berrisa  in  Major  Rennell's  map,  but  this  makes  the  horizontal 
distance  fn^m  Yaoora  to  Dag\vunil)a  about  850  B.  miles,  and 
therefore  too  great  for  42  journies,  the  greatest  nuu)ber  allowed  in 
the  routes  from  Dagwumba  to  Yaoora. 

I  would  not  presume  to  investigate  after  Major  Rcnnell,  it  would 
be  absurd  in  me  to  expect  to  throw  any  new  interest  into  the  dis- 
cussion, but  by  making  clear  the  accounts  I  collected  ;  to  do 
which  I  must  decline  the  course  of  the  Niger  from  Cabi  (Mr. 
Horneman  writes  it  flows  southward  from  Haoussa)  even  to  a 
junction  with  the  Bahr  Kulla.  For,  j^lacing  Yaoora  in  13°  30'  N. 
and  8°  30'  E.  in  conformity  with  its  distance  from  Timbuctoo  and 
a  declining  course  to  the  Kulla,  the  horizontal  distance  to  Yahndi, 
the  capital  of  Dagwumba,  will  be  600  B.  miles  :  now  42  journies, 
the  greatest  number  allowed  by  the  travellers,  at  20  miles  each, 
(rejecting  one  third,  as  heretofore,  lost  in  the  windings  of  the  path) 
give  the  horizontal  distance  at  560  B.  miles.  This  is  certainh-  an 
additional  argument  to  the  similarity  of  the  names  Quolla  and 
Kulla,  for  the  identity  of  these  rivers ;  but  not  so  strong  a  one  as 
that  the  routes  both  of  Moors  and  Negroes,  allow  but  40  journies 
from  Dagwumba  to  the  point  of  crossing  the  Niger  for  lloussa. 
The  course  to  this  point  was  described  by  the  Moors  as  a  little  to 
the  eastward  of  north  :  now  40  journies  on  a  N.  N.  E.  course,  by 
the  former  rule,  places  this  ferry  15°  1'  N.  and  3°  33'  E.  agreeing 
very  well  with  our  previous  position  of  Houssa,  and  proving  that 
the  course  of  the  Niger  must  decline  considerably,  for  more  than 
two  extra  journies  would  otherwise  be  required  for  the  north  east- 
ward route  from  Dagwumba  to  Yaoora.  Major  Rennell  only 
writes  that  the  course  of  the  Niger  is  probably  to  Wangara.  Mr. 
Ledyard,  in  his  comparatively  minute  description  of  that  country, 
(which  I  shall  notice  in  the  route  to  Bornoo)  says  nothing  of  its 
bordering  on  the  Niger.    Major  Rennell,  in  the  construction  of  the 


GEOGRAPHY.  201 

geogi-aphy  of  Mr.  Horneman's  report,  writes,  "  M.  D'Anville  also 
had  an  idea,  and  so  describes  it  in  his  map  of  Africa,  1749  (pos- 
sibly from  actual  information,)  that  the  Niger  dechned  to  the  south 
beyond  Gana,  so  that  the  termination  of  it  in  the  lake  Semegonda 
was  3~  degrees  of  latitude  to  the  south  of  Gana,"  There  is  a  kingdom 
called  Kulla  as  well  as  a  river,  and  there  is  also  a  kingdom  Quol- 
laraba :  raba  being  probably  no  more  than  an  adjunct  equal  to 
the  prefix  dar,  and  signifying  a  kingdom.  Mr.  Dupuis,  in  his 
notes  on  Adams,  says  of  an  intelligent  Negro,  "  his  account  was 
chiefly  curious  from  his  description  of  a  nation  which  he  called 
Gallo  or  Qitallo,  which  conveyed  to  me  an  idea  of  a  people,  more 
advanced  in  the  arts,  and  wealthier  than  any  that  I  had  previously 
heard  of:  within  three  days  journey  of  the  capital  was  a  large  lake 
or  river  which  communicated  with  the  Wed  Nile."  The  com- 
mended arguments  of  the  Quarterly  Review,  (which  I  have  never 
had  the  advantage  of  reading,)  must  be  in  a  great  degree  auxiliary, 
in  arguing,  to  support  the  Congo  hypothesis,  a  course  of  the 
Niger  equally  declined  Avith  that  which  I  have  followed  for  the 
identity  of  the  Quolla  and  Kulla.  The  junction  of  the  Quolla  with 
the  Bahr  Abiad,  or  Nil,  as  the  Moors  called  it,  cannot  be  more 
descriptively  expressed,  according  to  every  account  I  received, 
than  in  the  words  of  Mr,  Horneman,  "  Some  days  past  I  spoke 
to  a  man  who  had  seen  Mr.  Brown  in  Darfoor,  he  gave  me  some 
information  respecting  the  countries  he  travelled  through,  and  told 
me  that  the  communication  of  the  Niger  with  the  Nile  was  not  to 
be  doubted,  but  that  this  communication  before  the  rainy  season 
was  very  little."* 

*  The  Jenne  Moor  told  Mr.  Hutchison,  "  the  Quolla  was  the  largest  river  in  the 
world,  and  about  5  miles  wide,  having  a  very  rocky  channel,  the  banks  on  both  sides 
very  high,  and  rngged :  in  many  parts  canoes  often  take  a  day  to  cross,  from  the  dan- 
gerous whirlpools,  and  sudden   squalls;    at  other  places   the  stream  runs  with  great 

Dd 


202  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

We  Avill  pursue  the  course  of  the  Quolla  from  Yaoora  (where  I 
should  judge  from  description  it  must  be  about  3   miles  wide) 
before  Ave  apply  the  routes  northward  of  it.*    One  journey  east- 
ward of  Yaoora,  (sometimes  called  Yawooree  by  the  Negroes,)  it 
passed  Nooffie,  doubtless  the  Nyffe  of  Mr.  Horneman  and  others, 
and  which  De  Lisle  has  written  Xouffy  :  3  journies  thence  it  passed 
Boussa,  which  Amadi  Fatouma  reported,  as  it  was  to  me  also  (see 
Diar}')  as  the  place  of  Mr.  Park's  death,  but  I  could  hear  nothing 
of  the  rock  and  door.     Boussa  is  not  in  Major  Rennell's  map,  but 
I  observed  Bousa  in  the  map  of  De  Lisle  before  alluded  to ;  it  is 
probably  the  Berrisa  of  Edrisi.     Twelve  journies  thence  it  passed 
Atagara,  but,  previously,  Hoomee,  and  Rakkah.-f    Southward  of 
the  latter,  they  described  an  inland  country  called  Koofee,  possibly 
Kosie,  a  country  I  shall  presently  introduce,  as  visited  by  a  mulatto, 
behind  Lagos.     Thirty  journies  from  Atagara,  it  flowed  through 
the  kingdom    of  Quollaraba,:J:  which   thus  falls  precisely   where 

rapidity.     The  houses  in  its  environs  are  either  terraced  or  shingled,  as  thatch  cannot 
resist  the  frequent  high  winds." 

*  The  Jenne  Moor  has  placed  Gangc  as  an  island  in  the  Quolla  just  below  Bousa. 
This  must  be  the  Gongoo  of  Imiiammed,  and  Ben  AJi,  south  of  Cassina.  Mr.  Lucas 
writes  "  the  width  of  tlie  Niger  is  such,  that  even  at  the  island  of  Gongoo,  where  the 
ferrymen  reside,  the  sound  of  the  loudest  voice  from  the  northern  shore  is  scarcely 
heai-d." 

■f-  The  Jenne  jNIoor  traces  the  course  from  Yaoora,  thus :  Boussa,  Gange,  Wawa, 
Noofa,  Quollaliffa,  Atagara ;  the  only  diiference  being  the  position  of  the  latter  place, 
possibly  an  error  of  mine,  as  the  name  Atagara  was  not  noticed  in  the  charts  I  made 
the  Moors  draw,  but  only  in  the  more  particular  enumerations  of  the  countries  the 
Quolla  passed  ;  the  names  of  which  1  minuted  from  their  utterance,  and  afterwards 
attached  their  remarks  as  interpreted  to  me. 

+  The  Jenne  Moor  calls  this  Quollaliffa.  Mr.  Hutchison,  who  has  a  servant,  a  native 
of  it,  describes  it  as  a  very  powerful  kingdom,  as  the  Shereef  Brahima  described  it  to 
me,  and  as  was  the  impression  of  Mr.  Dupuis.  Mr.  H.  adds,  on  Negro  and  Moorish 
authority,  "  it  is  to  the  King  of  Quallowliffa  that  the  country  in  which  Canna,  Dall,  and 


GEOGRAPHY.  203 

Major  Rennell  has  laid  down  the  kingdom  of  KuUa.  Six  journies 
thence  it  passed  Mafeegoodoo,  and  13  journies  beyond,  the  lake 
Cadee  or  Caudee.  This  1  should  consider  to  be  the  Cauga  of 
Edrisi,  which  Majoi  Renuell  lias  identified  with  the  Fittri  of  Mr. 
Brown,  for  into  this  the  second  large  branch  of  the  Niger,  or  the 
river  Gambaroo,  is  said  to  run ;  but  it  is  considerably  too  much 
to  the  southward  for  the  Cauga  in  Major  RennelFs  map,  being, 
according  to  the  accounts  of  the  Moors,  only  3  journies  northward 
of  the  QuoUa :  yet  Edrisi  writes  "  besides  a  river  of  the  name  of 
Nile  or  Neel  passes  hij  Kauga."  What  inclines  me  to  think  the 
Cauga  may  be  more  distant  from  Bornoo  the  capital,  though  not 
from  the  frontier  of  that  kingdom,  (15  journies  being  the  number 
reported  to  me  as  well  as  to  Mr.  Brown)  is,  that  the  Negroes  of 
that  city  were  not  so  Avell  acquainted  widi  this  lake  as  the  Moors, 
My  sketch  in  the  map,  of  course,  represents  the  sketches  and 
descriptions  of  the  natives.  They  described  the  Cadee  or  Caudee 
as  an  immense  water,  like  a  small  sea,  frequently  overflowing  the 
neighbouring  country,  and  sometimes  so  convulsed  as  to  throw  up 
large  quantities  of  fish  and  other  contents ;  meaning,  in  short,  a 
volcanic  lake.  The  Moors  called  it  also  the  Bahr  el  Noa,  having 
a  tradition  that  the  waters  of  the  deluge  retired  to,  and  were 
absorbed  in  it.  A  very  high  mountain  was  spoken  of,  at  an  equal 
distance  between  the  Caudee  and  the  Quolla.*     Twelve  journies 

Yum  Yum,  where  cannibals  are,  is  subject."  Mr.  Horneman  mentions  Yem  Ycms 
cannibals  south  of  Kano  1 0  days  ;  and  the  account  is  further  confirmed  in  my  subsequent 
geographical  sketch  of  the  interior  of  Gaboon.  Mr.  Horncman's  information  that  the 
Niger  flowed  towards  the  Egyptian  Nile  through  the  land  of  the  Heathens,  which  JMr. 
Park  quoted  as  an  argument  for  the  Congo  hypothesis,  doubtless  referred  to  these 
cannibals 

*  "  At  times  the  water  of  this  lake  is  hot,  and  it  boils  and  bubbles  with  a  gi-eat  noise, 
often  overflowing  the  surrounding  country.  The  bones  of  fish  thrown  up  by  the  volcano 
are  so  numerous,  that  the  Arabs  mix  them  in  the  swish  of  their  houses.     There  are  a 


204  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

from  Caudee,  the  Quolla  received  the  river  Sharee  from  northward, 
which,  I  imagine,  if  not  the  Misselad,  may  be  a  river  deriving  its 
name  from  the  Abu  Shareb  of  Major  Rennell's  map.  The  Quolla 
was  said  to  pass  to  the  southward  of  Bagarrimee,  (the  Baghermee 
of  Mr.  Brown.)  Kalafarradoo,  (I  cannot  find  an}-  name  nearer  to 
this  than  the  Courourfa  of  De  Lisle,  and  Kororfa,  said  in  Mr. 
Beaufoy's  MSS.  to  be  W.  of  Begarmee).  Foor  (Darfur,  according 
to  Mr.  Brown,  means  the  kingdom  of  Foor)  and  lastly  to  skirt 
Waddai,  the  Waddey  of  Mr.  Horneman,  who  wrote  that  it  was  east 
of  Begharmee,  and  west  of  Darfoor ;  but,  as  it  was  reported  to  me 
east  of  Darfoor,  by  every  person,  and  as  Mr.  Brown  did  not  hear 
of  it  to  adjust  its  position,  I  have  placed  it  so.* 

The  junction  with  the  Nile  having  taken  place,  as  Mr.  Horneman 
before  reported,  south  of  Darfoor,  ihe}^  continued  the  course  to  a 
large  country  called  Soonar,f  indisputably  the  kingdom  of  Sen- 
naar.  Hence  to  Massar,:]:  or  Egypt,  they  did  not  always  agree 
themselves  in  the  various  names,  nor  can  I  recognise  any  on  the 
map,  unless  their  Shewa  Abenhassa  be  Bennassa,  Minsoor,  Misur, 
Gammeacha,  Gammazie ;  Sooess,  Sohaig ;  Kaheea,  Kahoul ; 
Zaragoo,  Nayazoogoo ;  and  their  Lamabalara,  in  the  country  of 

great  many  islets  in  tlie  lake,  which  is  so  extensive,  that  they  cannot  see  the  end. 
Between  it  and  the  Quolla  rises  a  very  higli  hill,  from  the  top  of  wliich  is  an  extensive 
view ;  it  is  a  day's  journey  from  the  water  on  either  side.  The  Arabs  eat  black  rice, 
corn,  and  sweet  beans,  called  Tummer.'"     W.  H. 

*  The  Jenne  Moor  has  also  placed  it  E.  of  Foor.  Mr.  Hutchison  writes  the  course, 
after  him,  from  Atagara,  thus :  "  Maffagoodoo,  Sharee,  Lake  Chadee,  Phorr  (beginning 
of  Arabs)  "  Wadie."  Mr.  Horneman  writes  "  A  great  part  of  the  people  of  Wadey, 
together  with  their  King,  are  Arabs." 

•f-  Mr.  Hutchison  has  written  it  Sooanar. 

t  "  Caii'o  is  still  called,  in  the  figurative  language  of  the  East,  Misr,  without  an 
equal ;  Misr,  the  mistress  of  the  world."  Quarterly  Re^-iew.  Mr.  Hutchison  writes, 
that  the  Moors  told  him  it  was  so  called  after  Misraim,  who  settled  there. 


GEOGRAPFIY.  205 

Egypt,  the  Bahr  be  ]a  ma  of  Mr.  Horneinan  ;  of  the  latter  there 
can  be  no  doubt.* 

My  friend,  the  Shereef  Brahima  had,  as  well  as  some  others, 
been  to  Mecca  and  Medina.  I  place  great  reliance  on  this  man's 
information  (invariably  confirmed  by  the  Negroes)  from  his  caution 
and  diffidence,  and  my  experience  of  his  character ;  for  he  was 
ultimately  a  valuable  friend  to  the  Mission  :  he  was  the  only  Moor 
who  dared  to  refuse  to  be  present  at  human  sacrifices.  The  MS. 
No.  2.  is  his  writing,  and  professedly  the  route  from  Dagwumba 
through  Bornoo  to  Massar.-j-  it  consists  of  six  pages  well  written. 
This  would  have  been  a  valuable  man  to  have  engaged  to  travel 
through  the  interior,  for  he  was  capable  of  making  circumstantial 
minutes,  and  I  think  he  might  have  been  engaged  to  do  so  by 
a   moderate  Fort  pay.      The  Moors   talk  much  of  the  King  of 

*  The  following,  in  the  left  hand  column,  are  the  places  or  coiinlries  as  written  by 

Mr.  Hutchison,  after  the  Jenne  Moor,  agreeing  with  those  the  Moors  reported  to  me. 

Shuewa  -  -  -  -         Shewa  Abenassa. 

Swiss  _  -  -  -  -         Spoess. 

Zall  ,  .  .  .         Zaloo. 

Machazoogee  -  .  .  Machawazoo. 

Tabarbass,  cultivation,  volcano  from  the  Quolla  two  "i  _  , 

?  X  at)arraDass« 
days,  two  days  to  the  top,  -  -      J 

Askanderee  .  .  _  -  Askandaraiaor  Sakunderree, 

The  latter  place  is  Alexandria.     The  Moors  called  the  Mediterranean  Sea  to  me  by  two 

names,  Baharle  Malee,  and  Sabbaha  Bahoori.     Mr.  Hutchison  writes  it  Baramela  or 

Bahermale,  and  adds,  "  Seven  rivers  from  Africa  turn  their  course  to  it,  but  only  two 

reach  the  shores,  of  which  the  Nile  is  one.    The  rush  of  the  waters  of  the  Nile  when  they 

meet  the  sea,  is  so  great,  that  the  waves  are  driven  into  the  air  with  great  force,  and 

retire  hke  waves  against  a  rock.     The  Red  Sea,  they  say,  assumes  various  colours  at 

different  periods  from  seven  streams  pouring  their  course  into  it,  salt  water  and  fresh, 

red,  blue,  yellow,  &c." 

-f-  "  Half  of  the  inhabitants  of  Massar  are  white,  and  half  black ;  they  have  a  Fort 

and  Governor,"  W.  H, 


206  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Santambool,  *  as  a  powerful  monarch  and  formidable  to  the 
Christians. 

It  will  excite  surprise  that  I  heard  nothing  of  Wangara,f-  as  was 
the  case  with  Mr.  Brown,  not  even  after  I  had,  contrary  to  my 
general  custom,  submitted  the  name  :  but  I  heard  very  much  spon- 
taneously of  Oongooroo.  Mr.  Hornemau  called  Wangara,  Ungura, 
and  De  Lisle,  Ouangara,  we  shall  find  it  in  the  route  from  Yaoora 
to  Bornoo  or  Barranoo.  Bornoo  was  described  to  me  about  north- 
east from  Yaoora,  which  agrees  very  well  with  Major  Rennell's 
position,  established  beyond  all  contradiction  short  of  an  observa- 
tion, but,  the  horizontal  distance,  (lowering  the  place  of  Yaoora  as 
I  have  done)  thence  to  Bornoo  would  be  upwards  of  1000  B. 
miles,  whereas  they  described  it  to  be  but  ol  journies,  which 
allowing  20  miles  to  each,  as  the  country  was  said  to  be  much 
more  favourable  to  travelling,  and  the  path  more  direct  than  that 
we  came,  would  give  but  an  horizontal  distance  of  680  B.  miles. 
Mr.  Horneman  heard  that  Bornu  was  but  15  journies  from  Kassina; 
I  was  told  33  if  walked;  19  if  rode.  Major  Rennell  has  made  the 
distance  about  30  journies,  considering  the  15  journies  applicable 
to  the  western  boundaries  of  the  empire,  and  not  to  the  capital. 

We  will  now  return  to  Yahndi  and  proceed  northwards  to 
Houssa.  Nineteen  journies  from  Yahndi  is  Matchaquawdie,  six 
beyond  is  Goorooma,  10  thence  Dolooe,  subject  to  Goorooma,  and 
only  five  journies  from  the  QuoUa,  described  as  about  two  miles 
wide  there.    When  Amadi   Fatouma  mentioned  that  he  passed 

*  Stambool  is  the  Arabic  pronunciation  of  tlie  familiar  or  vulgar  name  of  Constanti- 
nople, the  etymology  of  which  is  ig-ajaai  toXiv, 

•f-  Mr.  Hutchison  -^n-ites,  "  Wangara  is  the  name  of  a  region  comprehending  Mosee 
Kong,  and  other  neighbouring  countries  south  of  the  Niger  (if  not  some  to  the  nort'i  of 
it)  but  Oongooroo  is  the  name  of  the  country  laying  between  Cassina  and  Bornoo.)" 
Mr.  Park  has  Wangecra  in  the  route  from  Scgo  to  the  coast  of  Guinea. 


GEOGRAPHY.  207 

Gourounia,  I  should  suppose  he  meant  this  kingdom  of  Goorooma, 
Dolooe,  as  subject  to  it,  being  probably  included  under  that 
name.  I  must  impress,  however,  that  this  northern  route  from 
Dagwumba  to  the  Niger,  being,  with  that  from  Kong  to  Jenne, 
the  only  ones  unauthenticated,  otherwise  than  by  cross  examina- 
tion, I  do  not  report  them  with  the  same  confidence,  Avhich  I  do 
the  others.  Two  journies  from  the  northern  bank  of  the  Quolla  is 
Gamhadi,  to  which  three  large  towns  belong,  Dogondaghi,  Toodon- 
kassalee,  and  Toompassea,  and  numerous  dependent  crooms. 
There  were  three  routes  from  Gamhadi,  the  first  northward  to 
Houssa  15  journies,  passing  the  large  river  Gambaroo  the  ninth, 
between  which  and  Houssa  is  a  district  called  Zessa.  The  second 
route  is  to  Katinnee,  a  city  and  state  of  the  Mallowa  kingdom,  one 
month  from  the  Quolla.  On  this  route  the  Gambaroo  is  crossed 
the  tenth  day,  and  Sowhoonde,  Souoola,  (perhaps  Sala)  Quattara- 
quassee,  Doorooma,  Soroo,  Zabbakou,  Dinka,  Doochingamza, 
and  Dammisamia  Avere  mentioned  as  large  towns  on  the  route. 
The  third  route  was  through  the  Fillanee  country,  (doubtless  the 
Fullan*  of  Ben  AH)  Avhich  had  been  frequently  at  war  with  Mal- 
lowa, to  the  kingdom  of  Kallaghee,  14  journies  from  the  Quolla, 
the  Gambaroo  being  passed  the  tenth.  The  numerals  of  Kallaghee 
are 


One    - 

-     Gadee. 

Two 

Sillil. 

Three 

Quan 

Four 

Foolloo. 

Five 

Vydee. 

Six     - 

-     Zoodoo. 

Seven 

Etkassa. 

*  "  The  dress  of  the  people  of  Fullan  (a  country  to  the  west  of  Kassina)  resembles 
the  cloth  of  which  the  plaids  of  the  Scotch  Highlanders  are  made."    Ben  Ali. 


208  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Eight         -        Shiddowka. 

Nine         -         Woollaa. 

Ten      -         -     Wonia. 
A  country  called  Barrabadi  was  described  eastward  of  Mallowa, 
between  it  and  Borneo ;  its  numerals  corresponded  with  those  of 
Bornoo. 

We  will  now  return  again  to  Dagwuraba,  and  follow  the  route 
thence,  over  the  Quolla,  through  Yaoora  to  Bornoo.  Gamba  we 
have  already  described  as  five  journies  north  eastward  of  Yahndi, 
thence  two  journies,  over  a  high  mountain  called  Yerim,  and 
across  a  river  running  southwards  (which  the  Moors  called  Mory, 
but  which  it  would  seem  is  the  continuation  of  the  Karliala)  is 
Gooroosie,  four  journies  thence  Zoogoo,  probably  the  Zeggo  of 
Major  Rennell's  map  ;  10  farther  the  kingdom  of  Barragoo.  De 
Lisle  has  placed  his  kingdom  of  Bourgou  thereabouts.  North- 
westward of  Barragoo  is  Koomba,  the  Kombah  of  Major  Rennell's 
map.  The  position  of  this  kingdom  is  pretty  well  ascertained, 
because  those  Avho  came  from  it,  described  Goorooma  as  its 
northern  neighbour,  and  Barragoo  to  be  the  first  kingdom  passed 
through  in  their  journies  to  the  coast  below  Whydah.  Eight 
journies  from  Barragoo  is  Toombeii,  three  beyond  is  Goodoobirree. 
A  river  running  to  the  Quolla  (as  it  was  said,  but  more  probably 
from  it)  called  Leeasa,  flows  close  to  the  eastward  of  this  path,  and 
is  crossed,  going  from  Goodool:)irree  southwards,  to  a  large  king- 
dom called  Yariba  by  the  Moors,  but  Yarba  more  generally  by 
the  natives.  Major  Rennell  has  drawn  a  river  communicating 
with  the  Niger  close  to  Youri,  so  has  De  Lisle.  This  river  Lee'asa 
is  the  only  one  1  heard  of,  answering  in  the  least  degree  to  that  of 
Sidi  Ilamet,  but  Wassana  was  a  name  unknown.  Aquallie  is  the 
frontier  town  of  Yariba,  one  journey  from  Goodoobirree,  and  one 
from  Bootee,  second  only  to  the  capital,  Katanga,  four  journies 


GEOGRAPHY.  209 

beyond  it,  Yariba  was  described  to  be  about  24  journies,  through 
Hio,  (its  immediate  neighbour)  from  Aratakassee  or  Alatakassee, 
which  we  shall  hereafter  recognise  in  Ardra :  this  determines  its 
position  pretty  well.*  Dahomey  was  said  to  be  tributary  to  Yariba, 
as  well  as  to  Hio,  which  I  have  an  impression  is  also  tributary  to 
Hio.  From  Hio  to  Dahomey  is  seven  journies.  The  military  are 
despotic  in  Hio,  they  always  intercept  the  new  King  on  his  way  to 
the  palace,  and  demand  his  naming  some  neighbouring  country 
for  their  invasion  and  plunder,  before  they  confirm  him.  The 
King  before  the  present,  had  named  Dahomey,  but  after  three 
years  neglect  of  the  fulfilment,  he  ordered  the  army  against  a 
northern  neighbour.  The  army  went,  wasted  and  pillaged  the 
country,  but  when  within  a  day's  march  of  the  capital  on  their 
return,  they  sent  deputies  to  enjoin  his  abdication,  as  inevitable  to 
a  falsehood  to  them ;  he  was  obstinate ;  they  arrived  and  cut  oS 
his  head.    The  numerals  of  Hio  are 


One    - 

-     Innee. 

Two 

Eygee. 

Three 

Etta. 

Four 

Ernee. 

Five     - 

-    Aroon. 

Six     - 

-      Effa. 

Seven 

Eggay. 

Eight 

Eggo. 

Nine 

Essun. 

Ten     - 

Eywaw. 

*  Mr.  Hutchison  sends  me  this  route,  as  given  him  by  the  Jenne  Moor,  thus,  (sup- 
posing me  not  to  have  heard  of  Yariba)  "  from  Goodaberry,  over  Lasa  small  water  to 
Quolla,  at  Boussa;  few  hours  walk  to  Yaraba;  28  days  from  Dahomey:'  he  adds, 
"  recollect  that  the  Kmg  of  Dahomey  is  tributary  to  the  King  of  Yaraba,  who  is  the 
same  in  that  quarter,  as  the  King  of  Ashantee  is  here." 

E  e 


210  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

The  Hio  man,  who  gave  me  the  above  numerals,  spoke  of  the 
Apaccas  as  a  more  powerful  northern  neighbour,  but  I  never 
heard  of  them  from  any  other  person. 

Yariba  must  certainly  be  the  Yarba  of  Imhammed,  though  he 
described  it  as  18  or  20  journies  from  Gonjah  towards  the  N.W., 
for  he  is  hkely  to  have  been  incorrect  in  this,  because  we  have 
proved  him  to  be  so,  in  stating,  that  Ashantee  was  the  capital  of 
Tonouwah,  Avhich  appears  to  be  a  district  or  town  of  Dagwumba, 
the  people  of  which  kingdom  are  by  no  means  warlike  as  he  repre- 
sented them,  nor  have  they  any  notion  of  taming  the  elephant:  he 
reported  that  Calanshee  was  a  dependency  of  Ashantee,  whereas 
no  Ashantee  knows  the  name ;  that  Gonjah  was  46  journies  from 
the  coast,  when  it  is  but  30.  Major  Rennell  reasonably  conceived 
the  Yarba  of  Imhammed  to  be  the  Yarra  of  De  Lisle,  at  the  back 
of  Sierra  Leone,  but  as  this  country  is  not  preserved  in  his  own 
map,  I  presume  it  cannot  be  of  much  consequence,  politically  or 
commercially,  whereas  Yariba,  indisputably  eastward  of  Kong,  is 
always  announced  to  enquirers,  both  by  Moors  and  Negroes,  as  a 
very  powerful,  and  much  frequented  kingdom.  Another  argument 
is,  that  all  the  Moors  I  saw  at  Coomassie,  were  almost  ignorant  of 
the  countries  westward,  only  speaking  of  those  their  enquiries  for 
the  source  of  the  Quolla  had  made  known  to  them  :  indeed,  I  did 
not  see  one  who  had  travelled  westward,  or  south  westward  of 
Bambarra,  but  our  Accra  linguist  told  me  that  he  had  recognised 
a  Moor  at  the  Rio  Pongos,  whom  he  had  seen  in  Coomassie  (when 
sent  there  on  the  eve  of  the  second  Ashantee  invasion)  who  told 
him  that  he  had  been  two  months  travelling  from  Kong,  and 
crossed  a  very  large  river.  Imbammed's  AfFow  (if  not  TafFoo,  or 
the  Inta  country)  I  conceive  to  be  Afflou,  a  town  and  district  of 
the  Krepee  or  Kerrapay  country,  and  a  short  walk  from  the  sea  by 
Quitta,  westward  of  Yarba,  as  he  says,  but  more  than  eight  journies. 


GEOGRAPHY.  211 

The  Kerrapay  country,  which  is  extensive  and  independent,  will 
be  described,  in  proceeding  from  Cape  Coast  Castle,  along  the 
coast,  eastward. 

To  return  to  the  route  from  Yahndi  to  Yaoora,  three  journies 
from  Goodoobirree  towards  the  Quolla  through  Gilhmakafoo, 
Garagaroogee,  and  Paanghee,  is  the  large  city  of  Kaiama,  and 
four  beyond  it,  through  Mahalaba,  (the  nearest  name  to  the  Malel 
of  Edrisi,)  Marramoo,  and  across  the  small  river  Wooroo,  (running 
to  the  Quolla)  is  the  city  of  Wauwaw,*  three  journies  from  the 
Quolla.  Ten  journies  from  the  northern  bank,  through  Yaoora, 
and  skirting  the  eastern  limits  of  Zamfara,  is  Goobirree,  so  called 
by  the  Moors,  and  Goobur  by  the  Negroes.-j^  Mr.  Beaufoy  learned 
that  Gubur  was  to  the  south  of  Wangara,  and  De  Lisle  writes  it 
Goubour.  Thence  to  Kassina,  having  crossed  the  large  river 
Gambaroo,  is  eight  journies.  Eighteen  journies,  calculated  at 
18  miles  each  on  a  N.  E,  course,  from  the  altered  position  of 
Yaoora,  would  place  Kassina  in  15°  43'  N.  and  10°  43'  E.,  instead 
of  16°  N.  and  11°  45'  E.  Mr.  Lucas  learned  that  Kassina  was  five 
journies  from  the  Niger,  or  about  100  miles  from  that  water,  which 
it  is  likely  to  be  from  the  upper  branch  or  the  Gambaroo,  which 
river  skirting  Kanoo,  and  Oongooroo,  (or  Wangara.)  before  it 
descends  to  the  lake  Cadee,  (though  I  could  not  prove  satisfac- 
torily that  it  did  so,)  would  account  for  Edrisi's  placing  Kano, 
and  Wangara,  on  the  Niger.];     From  Kassina  to  Dawoorra  is  six 

*  The  Jenne  Moor  gave  this  route  thus  :  Wawa  to  Kiama,  a  great  kingdom,  3  days ; 
close  to  the  eastward  a  desert ;   1  day  Garagroogee  ;    1  day  Wala  ;   1  day  Goodaberry. 

■f-  "  Guber  est  a  cent  Heues  de  Gago  vers  I'Orient,  et  en  est  separ^  par  un  desert  inha- 
bitable a  quatorze  ou  quinze  Heues  du  Niger.  Cette  contr^e  est  entre  de  hautes  mon- 
tagnes,  et  toute  pleine  de  villages ;  celui  ou  le  Prince  tient  sa  Cour  a  quelque  mille 
maisons."     Dapper. 

J  I  shall  adjoin  an  outline  of  the  great  river  in  one  of  the  maps  of  Dapper's  Descrip- 


212  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

journies  :  this  must  be  the  Daura  of  Mr.  Horneman,  though  in  the 
drawing  of  the  Marrabut  it  is  placed  north  of  Kano.  From  Da- 
woorra  to  Kanoo  is  four  journies.  D'Anville  placed  it  90  miles  to 
the  N.  E.  of  Kassina,  and  in  the  drawing  just  alluded  to,  it  is 
placed  inland  northward  of  the  Niger.  The  only  authority  for 
supporting  Edrisi's  position  of  it,  is  what  Mr.  Matra  was  told  at 
Marocco.  The  Moor  who  informed  Mr.  Beaufoy  that  boats  went 
Avith  the  stream  to  Ghinea,  (the  Gano  or  Kano  of  Major  Rennell) 
placed  Jinnie  between  it  and  Houssa,  so  gross  an  inaccuracy  as  to 
justify  our  doubting  him  on  the  other  point.  The  Ginea  of  Leo 
more  probably  meant  J  enne,  and  he  seems  to  write  of  that  naviga- 
tion as  a  distinct  one  from  that  to  Melli  eastward.*  From  Kanoo, 
through  the  large  towns  Madagee  and  Adagia,  to  Oongooroo  is 
nine  journies,  but  seven  on  a  joma  or  camel,  "Est  iter  octo  dierum 
versus  orientem"  (Edrisi.)  From  Oongooroo  to  Barranoo  is 
15  journies  on  foot  according  to  the  Moors,  nine  on  horseback 
according  to  the  Negroes,  by  route  No.  12.  Bornoo  or  Barranoo 
was  spoken  of  as  the  first  empire  in  Africa ,-f  the  King's  name, 
according  to  the  Moors,  was  Baba  Alloo,  but  the  Negroes  called 
him  Massinnama.J     Kassina,  and  the  intermediate  countries  on 

tion  de  TAfrique,  traduit  dii  Flamand,  because  the  book  is  very  scarce,  and  I  do  no^ 
remember  to  have  seen  the  Niger,  the  Gir,  or  the  Congo  so  laid  down  in  any  other. 

*  The  removal  of  Cano  from  the  banks  of  the  Niger  agreeable  with  every  report  I 
received,  is  supported  by  Dapper.  "  A  cent  soixante  et  dix  lieues  d'Agadez  et  a  deux 
cent  du  Niger  on  trouve  ce  royaume  (Guber),  au  milieu  du  quel  est  la  ville  de  Cano 
fermee  de  muraUles  de  bois  et  de  pierre,  et  qui  a  des  maisons  baties  de  meme." 

-f*  "  The  Mahometans  of  Senaar  number  Bornoo  amongst  the  four  most  powerful 
monarchies  of  the  world  ;  the  other  three  are  Turkey,  Persia,  and  Abyssinia:  the  sove- 
reign of  Bornoo  is  more  powerfid  than  the  Emperor  of  Morocco."     Lucas. 

\  Ce  royame,  qu'on  croit  avoir  it6  la  demeure  des  Garamantes,  est  une  vaste  Province 
au  levant  de  Gangara,  qui  setend  vers  I'Orient  I'espace  de  cent  soixante  dix  lieues  et  est 
^loignee  du  Niger  de  cinquante.  :/r,  i..--^'K:i  . 


GEOGRAPHY. 


218 


the  route,  were  subject  to  him  with  many  others.  One  district 
belonging  to  Bornoo  was  na:ned  Panaroo,  and  the  vassal  King  or 
governor  of  it,  Yandee  Kooma.  A  small  river,  called  Gabooa* 
by  the  Negroes,  ran  southwards  near  Bornoo,  and  six  journies 
eastward  from  it,  close  to  Aweeac,  a  large  one  Zerrookoo  Kero- 
boobee.  Mr.  Horneman  writes,  the  Wad  el  Gazel  is  not  a  river, 
but  a  large  and  fertile  valley.  The  Negroes  of  Bornoo  were  well 
acquainted  with  Baghermee.  Imhammed's  recollection  of  the 
numerals  of  Bornoo  must  have  been  very  imperfect,  for  I  have 
written  them  at  least  half  a  dozen  times,  both  from  Moorish  and 
Negro  inhabitants,  and  my  spelling  agreed  with  that  of  another 
person  present.    They  are 


Imhammed's. 

One 

Leskar 

Lakkah. 

Two 

Ahndee 

Endee. 

Three 

Yaskar 

Nieskoo. 

Four     - 

-    Deegah 

Dekoo. 

Five 

Ooogoo     - 

-    Okoo. 

Six     - 

Araskoo 

Araskoo. 

Seven 

Tooloor 

Naskoo. 

Eight 

Woskoo 

Tallore. 

Nine 

Likkar     - 

L'ilkar. 

Ten     - 

-     Meeagoo 

Meikoo. 

Ben  Ali  said  the  language  of  the  common  people  of  Bornoo  had  a 
strong  resemblance  to  that  of  the  neighbouring  Negroes.  Mr. 
Lucas  writes  that  no  less  than  30  languages  are  spoken  in  these 
dominions.  The  following  are  the  numerals  of  Maiha,  one  month 
to  the  north-eastward,  subject  to  Bornoo,  and  the  King's  name 
Sma'i  Doonama. 


*  Mr.  Hutchison  heard  of  another  river  near  Bornoo  called  Koomoodoo  gaiguina :  lie 
could  not  hear  of  the  Wad  el  Gkizel. 


214  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 


One    - 

-     Lagen. 

Two 

Inde. 

Three 

Eiiska. 

Four 

Daager. 

Five     - 

-    Ohoo. 

Six     - 

Araska, 

Seven 

Tooloor. 

Eight 

Weska. 

Nine     - 

-   Likar. 

Ten     - 

-     Inagoon, 

The  Negroes  called  Kanem,  Kandera ;  were  well  acquainted  with 
Doomboo,  and  spoke  much  of  the  kingdom  of  Asben. 

We  will  now  return  to  Cape  Coast  Castle,  and  seek  the  best 
descriptive  authorities,  in  aid  of  the  observations  which  have  been 
made  by  the  Commissioners  and  others,  for  the  maritime  geography 
from  the  river  Assinee  to  Lagos. 

The  latitude  and  longitude  of  Cape  Coast  (called  by  the  natives 
Igwa,  and  in  the  AfFettoo  district)  according  to  Messrs.  Ludlam 
and  Dawes,  the  Government  Commissioners  who  surveyed  the 
coast  in  1810,  is  5°  6'  N.  and  1°  51'  AV.  Elmina,  the  native  name 
of  which  is  Addina,  is  about  seven  miles  to  windward  of  Cape 
Coast.  Twelve  miles  from  Elmina  is  Commenda,  an  English  fort, 
the  town  is  called  by  the  natives  Akatayki,  the  Dutch  fort  was 
destroyed  in  the  American  war.  Nine  miles  thence  is  Chama,  or 
Assema.  at  the  mouth  of  the  Boosempra.  Six  hours  pull  up  the 
river,  is  an  island,  where  Attobra,  one  of  the  Warsaw  caboceers, 
who  supplies  the  Dutch  with  canoes,  is  building  a  large  house  to 
retire  to  ;  four  hours  above  which  is  his  croom.  Colonel  Starren- 
berg  was  pulled  three  days  up  the  river  in  a  canoe ;  his  progress 
was  much  impeded  by  rocks,  and  at  length  arrested  by  a  large 
cataract,  which,  being  considered  a  powerful  fetish  b}^  the  natives, 


GEOGRAPHY.  215 

the  canoe-men  dared  not  to  approach.  Nine  miles  from  Chama, 
where  the  Dutch  have  a  fort  called  Sebastian,  is  Succondee,  the 
first  town  in  the  Ahanta  country.  The  English  fort  was  destroyed 
by  the  French  in  the  American  war,  but  there  is  a  settlement 
house.  The  Dutch  fort  is  called  Orange.  Four  miles  from  Suc- 
condee is  Taccorary,  and  a  Dutch  fort.  Nine  miles  beyond  is 
Boutrie  where  the  Dutch  have  a  fort,  formerly  belonging  to  the 
Brandenburgh  Company.  Three  miles  from  Boutrie  is  Dix-Cove, 
or  Nfooma,  and  in  the  interval  Boossooa,  the  capital  of  Ahanta, 
which  is  divided  into  three  districts,  Amanfoo,  Adoom,  and  Poho. 
The  first  is  about  one  journey  (through  Ge'amma)  behind  Boossooa, 
and  one  from  the  river  Ancobra,  the  caboceer  is  of  the  next  con- 
sequence to  the  King,  whose  power  and  means  are  extremely 
limited.  The  two  latter  districts  are  not  more  than  half  a  journey 
behind  Taccorary.  The  small  river  running  into  the  sea  at  Bou- 
trie, rises  in  the  Adoom  district,  which  is  said  to  abound  in  gold, 
but  the  pits  have  not  been  worked  for  many  years,  from  their  fear 
of  the  Warsaws.  Amanfee  also  abounds  in  very  fine  gold,  which 
is  generally  found  in  quartz,  and  is  ground  upon  stones  arranged 
under  large  sheds  for  the  purpose.  In  a  respectable  periodical 
publication  of  the  last  year,  I  observe,  the  King  of  Ashantee  called 
King  of  Ahanta,  Inta,  or  Ashantee;  this  is  one  of  the  many  proofs 
of  the  indiscriminate  ideas  of  that  monarch  before  the  Mission. 
Eighteen  miles  from  Dix-Cove  passing  Achooma  and  Accoda, 
(where  the  Dutch  have  a  fort,  and  which  is  close  to  Cape  Three 
Points)  are  the  ruins  of  HoUandia,  formerly  belonging  to  the 
Brandenburgh  Company,  and  called  Fort  Royal  Fredericksburg. 
Sixteen  miles  farther  is  Axim,  Avhere  the  Dutch  fort  Anthony, 
their  Vice  Presidency,  is  situated.  The  people  of  Axim  speak  a 
dialect  of  the  Ahanta.  About  two  miles  westward  is  the  mouth  of 
the  Ancobra,  so  called  by  the  Portuguese  from  its  windings,  the 


216  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

native  name  is  Seenna.  Col.  Starrenberg,  who  went  up  the  river 
as  far  as  the  ruins  of  Elisa  Carthago,  the  extreme  navigable  point, 
for  any  but  a  very  small  canoe,  says,  he  cannot  form  any  accurate 
idea  of  the  distance,  but  supposes  it  was  about  20  Dutch  miles 
and  the  course  N.  E.  Meredith  says  50  English :  he  was  very 
careless  and  incorrect  in  Avriting,  "  the  French  built  a  fort  on  the 
right  bank  of  this  river,  and  at  about  50  miles  from  its  mouth ; 
where  they  had  a  great  gold  trade,  that  soon  excited  the  jealousy 
of  the  Dutch,  who  expelled  them.  The  Dutch  however  did  not 
long  enjoy  this  acquisition,  for  the  chief  got  embroiled  with  the 
natives,  and  betook  himself  to  the  desperate  remedy  of  blowing  up 
the  fort."  Elisa  Carthago  was  built  by  the  Dutch  governor  Ruig- 
haven,  who  died,  as  appears  by  his  tomb  stone  at  Elmina,  before 
1700.  The  French  never  had  any  but  a  small  factor}^  almost  at 
the  mouth  of  the  river,  and  the  Dutch  officer  in  charge  of  Elisa 
Carthago  had  enjoyed  a  good  trade  many  years  before  the  cupi- 
dity of  the  natives  reduced  him  to  the  act  of  despair,  related  by 
Bosman,  and  still  recorded  by  the  natives,  who  narrated  it  to  Col. 
Starrenberg.  The  following  is  from  the  Latin  translation  of  Dr. 
Reynhaut :  "  The  chief  of  Elisa  Carthago  being  at  variance  with 
the  natives,  Avho  invested  the  fort,  and  finding  he  could  not  resist 
them  any  longer"  (for  as  the  story  goes,  he  had  been  reduced  to 
fire  pieces  of  rock  gold  from  the  want  of  bullets)  "  feigned  to  treat 
Avith  them,  and  invited  them  for  that  purpose  into  the  hall  of  the 
fort,  under  which  he  had  placed  several  barrels  of  gunpowder,  and 
a  small  boy  with  a  match,  ordering  him  to  apply  it  directly  he 
stamped  his  foot  on  the  floor  of  the  hall  above.  This  he  did,  after 
reproaching  the  natives  with  their  cupidity,  and  they  were  all 
blown  up  together.  One  of  the  servants  of  the  fort  had  just  before 
contrived  to  eft'ect  his  escape  with  most  of  the  papers."  In 
navigating  from  the  mouth  of  the  Ancobra  or  Seenna  to  Elisa 


GEOGRAPHY.  217 

Carthago,  the  following  towns,  on  the  banks,  are  passed,  Boasso, 
TarbOj.Marmeresse,  Ejujan,  Tetchbrouw,  Gura,  Barnesoe,  Uro- 
manio,  Afamkan,  and  Aduwa.  Gura  is  a  small  state,  the  people 
of  which  speak  the  same  language  as  those  of  Axim.  From  Aduwa 
there  are  three  grand  roads,  one  to  the  Aowin  country,  one  to  the 
Dankara,  and  one  to  Asankarie,  a  considerable  town  in  Warsaw. 
From  Aduwa  to  Dankara  numerous  small  crooms  are  passed 
through,  and  the  first  large  one  of  the  latter  country  is  Kenkoo- 
mabaraso,  only  three  journies  from  Coomassie.  The  people  of 
Dankara  come  to  Axim  to  trade.  From  Aduwa  to  Aowin  the  first 
considerable  town  is  Taqua.  The  Warsaw  country  is  governed  by 
four  caboceers,  independent  of  each  other,  of  whose  rehition  and 
power,  the  best  idea  I  can  give,  is  by  comparing  it  with  that  of 
the  tyrants  Geron  and  Theron,  who  ruled  at  the  same  time  in 
Sicily.  Intiffa,  the  richest  caboceer,  and  whose  power  extends  the 
farthest,  resides  at  Abbradie,  one  short  journey  from  Elmina. 
Cudjo  Miensa  (Miensa  is  the  numeral  three)  is  his  principal  coun- 
sellor, and  will  succeed  him,  Nerbehin  was  formerly  the  residence 
of  Quashee  Jacon,  another  independent  caboceer,  but  of  Intiffa's 
family  ;  he  was  driven  from  thence  by  Esson  Cudjo,  who  now 
rules  there :  he  fled  to  Samcow  (situated  about  one  day's  journey 
on  the  frontier  of  Warsaw,  behind  Succondee)  of  which  Musoe,  a 
slave  of  his,  has  raised  himself  to  be  the  caboceer,  and  now  protects 
his  master  until  Esson  Cudjoe's  death.  Attobra,  another  indepen- 
dent caboceer,  lives  at  Dabroadie,  on  the  Boosempra.  The  greatest 
breadth  of  the  Warsaw  country  is  supposed  to  be  60  B.  miles,  and 
the  greatest  length  100  or  120.  About  28  miles  from  the  Ancobra, 
begins  the  kingdom  of  Amanahea,  in  which  the  Enghsh  fort 
Apollonia  is  situated  :  it  extends  about  100  miles  along  the  coast, 
but  not  more  than  20  in-land.  The  various  numerals  of  the  coast 
will  be  submitted  in  an  essay  on  the  Fantee  language. 

rf 


218  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Barely  four  miles  eastward  of  Cape  Coast  is  Moree,  and  the 
Dutch  fort  Nassau.  Six  miles  from  Moree  is  Annamaboe,  the 
most  complete  fortification  in  the  country ;  five  miles  thence  Cor- 
mantine,  the  first  fort  possessed  by  the  English,  and  built  by  them 
about  the  middle  of  the  seventeenth  century.  It  was  taken  after- 
wards by  the  Dutch,  and  being  stormed,  was  almost  destroyed  by 
the  Ashantee  army,  before  it  attacked  Annamaboe:  the  position 
is  very  commanding.  Tantumquerry,  a  small  English  fort,  is  about 
18  miles  from  Cormantine,  (crossing  the  small  river  Amissa,  an 
hour's  walk  in-land  from  which  is  Mankasim,  the  capital  of  the 
Braffoe  district  of  Fantee)  the  natives  call  the  town  Tuam.  Eight 
miles  from  Tantum  is  the  town  of  Apam,  where  is  a  Dutch  fort 
and  a  small  river.  Eight  miles  from  Apam  is  Simpah  or  Winnebah. 
The  people  of  Simpah  are  Fantees,  but  their  language  is  called 
Affoottoo.  They  are  in  the  district  of  Agoona.  About  nine  miles 
from  Simpah  is  the  Dutch  fort  Berracoe,  the  natives  call  the  town 
Seniah.  Attah  of  Akim  laid  a  contribution  on  this  fort  in  March 
1811.  About  27  miles  from  Berracoe  is  Accra,  or  Inkran,  once 
subject  to  Aquamboo,  which  people,  according  to  Isert,  formerly 
drove  them  to  Popo.  Meredith  fully  describes  Accra  and  the 
environs,  but  he  docs  not  mention  that  according  to  the  natives  the 
Portuguese  settled  here  first,  (Isert  writes  in  1452)  and  exercising 
the  greatest  cruelties  and  enormities,  were  extirpated  by  the  Accras 
(their  town  was  then  situated  a  little  behind  the  present),  who  exe- 
cuted the  governor  and  his  countrymen,  on  a  spot  whence  they 
still  take  the  earth  to  rub  a  new  born  child,  in  commemoration  of 
the  event.  Accra,  according  to  the  observations  of  the  Commis- 
sioners, is  in  5°  20'  N.  and  10'  W.  Mr.  Meredith,  after  quoting 
this  observation,  placed  it  in  his  outline  of  the  coast  in  58'  E. 
Between  two  and  three  miles  from  the  English  fort,  is  Christiansburg 
Castle,  the  D  anish  head-quarters. 


GEOGRAPHY.  219 

We  will  follow*  Isert  in  his  route  from  Accra  to  the  Volta,  as  he 
travelled  it  several  times.  "  Two  miles  from  Christiansburg  is 
Labbodee,  where  there  was  formerly  a  fort :  this  is  the  residence 
of  the  grand  fetish,  and  the  Bishop.  Two  miles  to  Pessin,  two  to 
Temmen,  where  the  Dutch  had  a  small  fort,  abandoned  in  1781, 
two  (leaving  Nimboe  a  little  in  the  bush)  to  Ponee,  a  deserted  Dutch 
fort,  now  a  Dutch  factory  ;  two  miles  thence  (crossing  a  brakke 
streek  or  low  land,  up  to  the  shoulders  in  the  rains,  and  300  fathoms 
broad,  sometimes  called  Ponee  river)  are  great  and  small  Pram 
Pram,  where  the  English  have  a  small  fort  or  fortified  factory. 
Two  long  miles  thence  is  Friedensbourg  fort  at  Ningo,  the  people 
of  which  speak  a  different  language  called  Adampee,  (the  name 
given  to  their  country,)  a  mixture  of  Ashantee,  Kerrapee,  and 
Accra ;  it  is  a  republic."  Behind  Adampee  is  the  Crobo  mountain, 
the  people  of  which,  though  but  a  few  hundreds,  have  hitherto 
baffled  the  Ashantees,  by  leaving  their  croom  at  the  bottom  of  the 
mountain,  Avhich  is  of  great  height,  rugged,  accessible  but  by  one 
narrow  path,  and  with  springs  of  Avater  on  the  top,  Avhence  they 
roll  down  upon  their  enemies,  the  large  stones  and  fragments  of 
rock   which  abound.    "  From   Adampee  1  went  in  one  day  to 

*  I  observe,  in  a  modern  publication,  Dr.  Isert's  described  as  a  second  visit  to  Africa, 
under  the  auspices  of  the  Danish  government,  encouraged  by  his  reports  to  attempt 
colonization  in  Aquapim,  and  that  he  died  from  anxiety  and  exertion.  This  was  not  the 
case,  it  was  his  first  and  only  visit,  the  Danes  never  attempted  colonization,  and  he 
embarked  for  the  West  Indies  as  I  have  before  stated.  Having  read  the  above,  however, 
I  wrote  to  Dr.  Rejnhaut,  who  translated  some  passages  from  the  Dutch  into  Latin  for 
me,  and  the  following  is  an  extract  from  his  letter  in  reply.  "  Quod  attinet  Iserti  in 
Africam  reditum,  ibique  ejus  obitum,  ficta  ha?c  est  fama.  Verum  est  juxta  Quitam  post 
victoriam  in  Augnaeos  populos  reportatam,  Danos  arcem  condidisse,  cui  nomen  insigni- 
verunt  Prinzenstein ;  sed  nuUae  culturae  incubuerunt,  nee  colonias  struxerimt,  nee  minus 
falsum  est  uniquam  Isertum  in  Africae  littoras  inferiora  regis  jussu  rediisse,  colonias  ex- 
truendi  gratia,  nam  preeter  opus  Botanicum  quod  Florae  Guinensis  titulo  occun-it, 
nullum  aUud  de  illo  scriptum  existit," 


220  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Addah,  12  miles.  Two  and  a  half  from  Ningo  is  a  croom  called 
Lai,  the  inhabitants  of  which  have  removed,  some  to  Addah,  some 
to  Ningo :  the  English  had  a  factory  here,  long  gone  to  ruin.  One 
mile  west  of  the  Volta,  there  was  formerly  a  croom  called  Foutchi." 
Reckoning  four  Enghsh  miles  to  one  Danish  or  Dutch,  Addah 
would  be  96  miles  from  Christiansburg,  but  Meredith  makes  it  but 
67,  therefore  we  will  take  the  medium  and  call  it  87.  From  the 
Volta  to  Cape  St.  Paul's  is  five  leagues  by  sea,  according  to  Dalzel, 
and  15  miles  by  land,  according  to  Norris's  map  of  Dahomey  and 
its  environs.  Quitta,  about  12  miles  from  it  (according  to  Norris) 
by  the  observation  made  in  H.  M.  S.  Argo  in  1802,  is  in  5°  45'  N. 
and  1°  29'  30"  E.  by  chronometer.  Accra  lies,  according  to  the 
Commissioners,  in  10'  W.  Taking  the  medium  between  Isert  and 
Meredith,  Christiansburg  Castle,  about  three  miles  eastward  of  the 
English  fort,  is  87  from  Addah,  but  as  that  place  is  six  miles  from 
the  mouth  of  the  Volta,  we  will  call  it  81 :  allowing  one  mile  for 
the  breadth  of  the  river  and  18  miles  for  the  difference  of  longitude 
between  it  and  Quitta,  (according  to  Norris,)  the  distance  from 
English  Accra  to  Quitta  will  be  303  B.  miles,  which  being  equal 
to  89  geographical  miles,  place  Quitta  in  1°  19'  E.  instead  of 
1°  29'  30"  as  by  the  observation  of  the  Argo,  and  that  supposing 
the  whole  distance  to  be  made  good  horizontally,  which  is  impos- 
sible. Wherefore  I  should  think  Isert,  who  had  travelled  it,  was 
more  likely  to  be  correct  in  making  the  distance  from  Christiansburg 
to  Addah  96  miles,  than  Meredith  in  calling  it  67. 

Norris's  observation,  placing  Cape  St,  Paul's  in  5°  52'  N.,  I 
conceive  to  be  incorrect,  as  that  of  the  Argo  must  be  preferred, 
which  places  Quitta  in  5°  42' N.,  instead  of  6°  2'N.,  as  in  Norris's 
map.  This  should  not  have  escaped  Mr.  Dalzel's  notice  in  the 
"  New  Sailing  Directions,"  where  both  observations  are  cited  in 
the  same  page,  without  any  remark  on  theinconsistency,  for  Quitta 


GEOGRAPHY.  221 

and  not  St.  Paul's,  is  thus  made  the  Cape  or  western  limit  of  the 
Bight,  the  eastern  side  of  which  is  called  the  Bight  of  Benin,  I 
regret,  amongst  other  disadvantages,  that  of  not  having  the  oppor- 
tunity to  consult  the  chart  of  Mr.  Demayne  (the  master  of  H.  M.  S. 
Amelia)  which  is  said  to  be  more  accurate  than  any  other.* 

Quitta  is  included  in  an  independent  state  of  Kerrapay,  called 
Agwoona,  which  extends  thence  along  the  coast  to  the  Volta ;  the 
towns  from  that  river  to  Quitta  are  Altoko,  Terrobee,  Footee, 
Agwoona,  Whiee,  and  Tegbay.  Agwoona  lays  half  a  mile  from 
the  shore,  and  about  15  miles  from  the  Volta.  The  inhabitants  of 
all  the  other  towns  are  obliged  by  the  law  to  bury  their  dead  in 
Agwoona,  the  capital ;  the  caboceer  of  which  is  supreme  over  the 
others,  but  not  absolute.  Between  Quitta  and  Popo,  lay  the 
Kerrapay  towns  EgbifFeemee,  to  which  several  of  the  Quittas  have 
retired,  Edjenowah,  Ooogloobooe,  and  AfHou  or  Afflahoo,  a  little 
way  from  the  beach.  These  towns  are  governed  by  caboceers,  inde- 
pendent of  each  other,  as  well  as  of  Agwoona  ;  and  in  the  last  a 
mixture  of  Adampe  and  Kerrapay  is  spoken,  accounted  for  by  the 
emigration  of  a  large  body  of  the  former  people.  Another  inde- 
pendent state  of  Kerrapay  is  Tettaytokoo,  2  journies  behind  Popo ; 
the  King  is  said  to  be  despotic,  and  the  capital  composed  of  circular 
houses.    There  is  also  another  smaller  interior  state,  governed  by  a 

*  Since  I  have  been  at  sea  I  have  drawn  the  maritime  part  of  my  map  again,  and  laid 
down  the  Forts  and  other  points  according  to  the  observations  quoted  in  Norrie,  (4th 
edition,  1816,)  which  agree  so  very  nearly  with  those  of  the  Commissioners  in  the  two 
instances  cited,  that  I  conclude  he  has  been  allowed  to  copy  the  whole  series  from  their 
papers,  which  I  believe  have  never  been  pubhshed.  Even  in  Dr.  Mackay's  valuable 
publication,  Cape  Coast  Castle  is  laid  1"  23'  too  much  to  the  eastward.  I  presume  too 
that  the  observations  made  by  H.  M.  S.  Amelia,  are  part  of  those  quoted  by  Norrie, 
although  the  Argo's  observations  of  the  longitude  of  Quitta  and  Whydah  are  not  con- 
firmed. I  observe  a  small  error  which  makes  1'  28"  N.  and  7'  24"  E.  tiie  difference 
between  Kormantine  and  Annamaboe,  the  former  is  only  5  miles  eastward  of  the  latter. 


222  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

caboceer  called  Quaminagah.  Tadoo,  however,  is  allowed  to  be 
the  largest  kingdom  of  Kerrapay,  6  journies  behind  Popo,  (which 
the  Fantees  call  Inshan,  but  the  natives  Taun  or  Taum)  described 
as  a  large  town;  and  the  Accra  language  is  spoken  there  as  well 
as  the  Kerrapay,  in  consequence  of  the  temporary  emigration  of 
the  former  people  in  1680.     The  Kerrapay  numerals  are 


One     - 

Eddee. 

Two 

Effee. 

Three 

Eltong. 

Four 

En  nay. 

Five     - 

Altono-. 

Six     - 

Adday. 

Seven 

Adrinnee, 

Eight 

Ennee. 

Nine 

Indee. 

Ten 

Owoo. 

The  Negroes  of  this  country  are  of  a  much  more  daring  and 
desperate  character  than  their  neighbours,  and  were  always  the 
most  severely  treated  in  the  slave  ships.  Mr.  Meredith,  who  writes 
it  Crcpee,  placed  it  west  of  the  Volta. 

Whydah,  according  to  an  observation  of  the  Argo,  is  6°  14'  N. 
2°  31'  E.  I  do  not  recollect  Dalzel  to  have  mentioned  that  Anotto 
is  produced  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Whydah.  I  am  not  certain 
whether  it  is  by  the  Bixa  orellana  ;  but  the  shrub  at  Whydah  may 
be  classed  under  Polyandria  Monogynia.  Lambe  made  it  200 
miles  from  Whydah  beach  to  Abomey  ;  Norris  112,  Dalzel  96. 
By  Mr.  Norris's  own  account  of  his  journey,  not  more  than  20 
hours  were  occupied  in  travelling,  which  at  4  miles  an  hour,  the 
greatest  pace  which  I  think  the  hammock  men  can  average,  would 
make  the  distance  80  miles.  An  officer  in  this  service  went  to 
Dahomey,  without  hurrying,  in  3  days  ;  and  considers  a  dispatch 


GEOGRAPHY.  223 

would  reach  it  in  2  :  he  thinks  it  can  scarcely  be  70  miles ;  but 
calling  it  80  as  above,  and  supposing  54,  two  thirds,  to  be  the 
horizontal  distance  made  good,  equal  to  almost  47  G.  miles, 
Abomey  would  lay  in  7°  12'  N.  Yet  Mr.  Dalzel  writes  it  lays  in 
about  7°  59'  N. :  Whydah  being  in  about  6°  25'  in  the  map  affixed 
to  his  history ;  this  requires  108  B.  miles  to  be  made  good  on  the 
horizontal  distance,  whereas  he  calls  that  of  the  whole  journey  but 
96,  and  Mr.  Norris,  who  drew  the  map,  112.  The  pubhc  were 
certainly  indebted  to  Mr.  Dalzel  for  the  History  of  Dahomey,  but 
it  was  his  duty,  as  an  intelligent  and  considerate  man,  to  correct 
siich  an  error  as  this ;  and  if  the  author  of  the  preface  had  reflected, 
he  would  not  have  written,"  The  map,  is  that  of  Mr.  Norris,  with  a 
few  additions,  which  for  the  places  on  the  coast,  and  the  position 
of  Abomey,  is  near  enough  to  the  truth."  Mr.  DaL^el  should  have 
corrected  a  greater  error  in  this  map,  the  course  of  the  Lagos  river, 
for  altering  which  I  shall  presently  quote  his  own  authoiity  in 
addition  to  others. 

An  officer  in  this  service,  who  resided  at  Lagos  three  years,  and 
is  the  only  European  resident  who  has  survived  of  those  who  have 
made  the  attempt,  enables  me  to  correct  the  following  errors.  The 
Pelican  bank  is  much  smaller  than  it  appears  on  the  charts ;  the 
Doo  island  (which  lays  N.  W.  and  not  N.  of  Lagos  town)  where 
the  natives  go  to  make  fetish,  is  not  more  than  one  mile  in  circum- 
ference ;  and  there  is  no  river  of  that  name.  The  beach  over  which 
the  Portuguese  and  French  (who  never  cross  the  bar,  where  there 
are  3  fathoms  water)  transport  their  goods  to  the  canoes,  is  not 
more  than  100  yards  wide,  instead  of  one  mile.  In  Norris's  map 
prefixed  to  Dalzel's  History,  the  Lagos  river  is  made  to  cross  the 
path  to  Dahomey  near  Tore."  In  the  Sailing  Directions  for  the 
Coast  of  Africa,  to  which  Mr.  Dalzel  was  the  chief  contributor, 
and  who  revised  the  work,  we  find,  "  River  Lagos  is  the  mouth 


284  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

not  only  of  the  river  of  that  name,  which  runs  to  the  eastward  from 
Ardrah,"  See.  and  the  river  Mr.  Norris  crossed  near  Tore,  which 
he  calls  pretty  deep  and  rapid,  but  with  a  bridge  over  it,  is  by  the 
account  of  other  gentlemen,  otiicers  in  this  service,  who  have  been 
to  Dahomey,  no  more  than  a  marsh.  The  gentleman  before  men- 
tioned to  have  resided  three  years  in  Lagos,  informs  me  the  grand 
branch  of  that  river  flows  from  the  northward  of  the  island,  where 
the  pretended  river  Doo  is  placed,  he  found  it  so  wide  on  entering 
it,  that  being  in  the  middle,  where  there  are  10  fathoms  water,  he 
could  scarcely  see  the  land  on  either  side.  The  current  is  impe- 
tuous, and  floating  islands,  and  large  masses  of  alluvial  matter 
come  down  with  such  force,  in  the  rainy  season,  as  to  trip  vessels 
from  their  anchors  in  the  English  road.  De  Lisle  makes  the  Lagos 
river  flowing  from  the  N.,  and  the  French  are  allowed  to  be  much 
better  acquainted  with  this  part  of  the  coast.  That  called  the  West 
river  in  Norris's  map,  is  only  a  creek  ;  and  what  he  calls  the  Lagos 
river,  and  draws  running  close  to  Badaggry,  Ardrah,  and  passing 
Tore,  is  the  Western  river.  Badaggry  is  not  more  than  5  or  7  miles 
from  the  beach,  instead  of  15,  and  the  tide  only  ebbs  and  flows  so 
far.  Ardrah  is  from  25  to  30  miles  from  the  beach,  instead  of  18; 
and  the  river  is  crossed  at  about  one-third  of  the  distance  from  the 
sea :  this  is  what  we  call  Porto  Novo,  for  there  is  not  more  than 
beachmen's  huts  on  the  shore  opposite  the  anchorage.  The  natives 
call  Ardrah  Aratakassee,  or  Allatakassee,  and  the  country  Essaam, 
or  the  great.  The  river  continues  its  course  not  more  than  100 
yards  from  the  sea,  at  Whydah,  and  proceeds  equally  close  (indeed 
frequently  the  ridge  between  them  is  covered  with  water)  until 
passing  Quitta,  it  falls  into  the  Volta  near  the  mouth. 

The  above  mentioned  gentleman  proves  the  informant  of  Adams's 
editor  incorrect,  in  stating  that  the  Houssa  traders  were  constantly 
to  be  met  with  at  Lagos,  previous  to  the  abolition  of  the  slave  trade. 


GEOGRAPHY.  225 

for  it  has  always  been  the  poUcy  of  Kosie,  a  kingdom  on  the 
eastern  bank  of  the  river,  and  about  60  miles  inland  from  the 
mouth,  to  prevent  all  intercourse  between  the  traders  of  the  inte- 
rior, and  those  of  Lagos,  to  secure  to  themselves  the  exorbitant 
profits  they  made  as  the  brokers  or  medium.  The  Europeans  who 
traded  at  Lagos,  once  meditated  forcing  a  passage  up  the  river  in 
armed  boats,  and  a  vessel  of  18  guns  was  got  over  the  bar,  and 
anchored  close  to  Lago?  town  ;  but  the  project  was  abandoned  as 
too  perilous.  Sometime  afterwards  the  King  of  Kosie  desired  a 
European  might  visit  him,  to  gratify  his  curiosity,  and  that  of  his 
people  ;  but  no  one  being  willing,  a  mulatto,  named  Peter  Brown, 
Avas  dressed  up  and  sent.  This  man,  being  now  at  Cape  Coast,  I 
have  questioned.  Several  armed  men  were  sent  to  conduct  him, 
and  relays  of  canoe  men  sufficient  to  continue  brisk  pulling;  which 
they  did  from  the  evening  till  the  next  day,  before  he  left  the  river 
to  proceed  by  land  ;  it  was  still  very  wide,  and  more  than  4  fathoms 
deep  ;  considerably,  for  aught  he  knew,  for  the  bamboo  poles  of 
that  length,  with  which  the  natives  push  the  canoe  forward,  when 
they  get  close  enough  to  the  banks  to  do  so,  would  not  touch  the 
bottom  in  the  middle.  Relays  of  hamrtiock  men  then  carried  him 
at  a  brisk  pace  until  evening,  when  he  reached  Kosie,  which  he 
described  as  a  town  of  great  extent,  and  the  buildings  to  resemble 
those  in  the  drawings  of  Coomassie.  The  King  gave  orders  that 
the  crowd  should  not  intrude  themselves  into  his  house,  treated 
him  very  handsomely,  and  dismissed  him  after  three  days.  He 
only  heard  the  people  of  Kosie  speak  of  two  great  nations,  the 
Hios,  and  the  Awissees. 

The  gentleman  before  mentioned  has  an  impression,  from  all 
the  enquiries  he  recollects  to  have  made,  of  the  slaves  of  the  inte- 
rior, that  the  merchants  convey  them  by  water  the  greater  part  of 
the  way;  and  their  reports  were  strengthened  by  his  having  an 

G   g 


226  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

opportunity  of  seeing  canoes  brought  from  Kosie  to  Lagos,  and 
purchased  from  the  slave  merchants  Of  the  interior.  They  were 
very  superior  in  size  and  convenience  to  those  of  the  coast,  were 
covered  in,  with  a  distinct  apartment  for  the  trader  and  his  wives, 
and  would  hold  a  hundred  slaves.  I  never  heard  any  slaves  speak 
of  being  brought  any  part  of  the  way  by  water,  but  I  have  not 
seen  any  who  were  brought  to  Kosie  or  Lagos. 

The  Karhala  is  the  only  large  river  likely  to  communicate  with, 
or  to  form  that  of  Lagos  ;  possibly  the  Karhala  might  run  to  the 
large  lake  in  Hio,  which  Snelgrave  says  (from  the  information  of 
the  Portuguese  mulatto  he  found  at  Abomey)  "  is  the  fountain  of 
several  large  rivers  which  empty  themselves  into  the  Bay  of  Guinea." 
The  Lagos  river  may  flow  from  this  lake,  but  this  is  mere  conjec- 
ture. The  gentleman  to  whom  I  am  indebted,  places  the  Mahees 
north  of  Dahomey,  instead  of  north-west  as  in  Norris's  map,  which 
is  allowed  to  be  far  from  discriminate  in  the  interior  parts,  in  the 
preface  to  Dalzel's  History,  and  this  is  also  more  probable,  because 
about  nine  years  ago,  the  King  of  Hio  entirely  conquered  the 
Mahees,  and  upwards  of  20,000  of  them  were  brought  for  sale  to 
Lagos. 

The  Jobs,  inconsiderately  reported  to  Adams's  editor  as  being, 
with  the  Anagoos  aud  Mahees,  the  principal  nations  on  the  journey 
to  the  Niger,  and  nearer  to  the  coast,  avoiding  Dahomey,  are  pro- 
bably the  Jaboos,  who  are  about  40  miles  westward  of  Kosie,  and 
not  behind  Cradoo,  as  in  Norris's  map.  They  are  celebrated  for 
the  cloths  of  their  name,  of  which  the  Portuguese  have  shipped 
such  large  quantities.  The  Anagoos,  or  Nagoos,  are  the  north 
westward  neighbours  of  Dahomey. 

The  extent  of  Fantee  is  corrected  from  the  conjectural  enlarge- 
ment of  it  by  Mr.  Meredith,  and,  with  that  of  As.hantee,  Akii;), 
Assin,  Warsaw,  Ahanta,  &c.  &c.  is  sufficienlly  distinct  in  the  pre- 


GEOGRAPHY.  227 

sent  map.  A  more  enlarged,  and  particular  map  of  Fan  tee,  &c. 
would  not  be  interesting  to  the  public,  but  as  it  might  be  desirable 
to  geographers,  I  shall  keep  it  in  view  as  a  duty,  and,  at  some 
future  time,  endeavor  to  add  to  the  observations  of  latitude  and 
longitude  which  have  been  already  made  on  the  coast. 

I  may  not  conclude  without  acknowledging  the  guidance,  and 
assistance,  which  Major  Rennell's  previous  investigations  have 
afforded  me ;  without  impressing,  that  had  not  some  sketches  of 
the  interior  been  collected  by  the  industrj'  of  the  emissaries  of  the 
African  Association,  and  afterwards  connected  and  formed  into  a 
general  outline,  blended  with  the  feeble  lights  of  the  ancients,  my 
enquiries  would  neither  have  been  excited  or  directed  ;  and  this 
present  small  contribution  to  our  slender  knowledge  would  have 
perished  an  embryo.  When  I  retlect  on  the  creative  researches  of 
the  genius  of  D'Anville,  and  the  acumen  and  erudition  of  Major 
Rennell,  it  is  my  greatest  anxiety  to  make  my  deference  in  investi- 
gation, as  manifest  as  the  public  duty  which  exacted  the  involuntary 
presumption  ;  and  I  cannot  conclude  more  appropriately,  than  by 
addressing  the  latter  in  the  expressive  lines  of  Virgil : 

"  Nee  calamis  solum  asquiparas  sed  voce  magistrum 
Fortunate — tu  nunc  eris  alter  ab  illo. 
Nos  tamen  base  quocunque  mode  tibi  nostra  vicissim 
Dicemus." 


228  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 


CHAPTER   II. 


Histonj. 

J  o  speak  of  the  death  of  a  former  king,  the  Ashantees  imagine  to 
affect  the  hfe  of  tlie  present  equally  with  enquiring  who  would  be 
his  successor;  and  superstition  and  policy  strengthening  this  im- 
pression, it  is  made  capital  by  the  law,  to  converse  eithei  of  the 
one  or  the  other.  The  inability  of  the  natives  to  compute  time, 
and  the  comparatively  recent  establishment  of  the  Moors,  may 
be  pleaded  as  additional  apologies  for  the  imperfect  histor}'^  I  have 
collected. 

According  to  a  common  tradition,  Avhich  I  never  heard  contra- 
dicted but  once,  the  Ashantees  emigrated  from  a  country  nearer 
the  water  side,  and  subjecting  the  western  Intas,  and  two  lesser 
powers,  founded  the  jiresent  kingdom.  These  people  being  com- 
paratively advanced  in  several  arts,  the  Ashantees  necessarily 
adopted  a  portion  of  their  language  with  the  various  novelties ; 
which  probably  created  the  limited  radical  difference  between  their 
language  and  that  of  the  Fantees  ;  for  I  could  not  find,  after  taking 
the  greatest  pains,  more  than  200  A\ords  unknown  to  the  latter. 
The  weights  of  the  Inta  country,  in  particular,  were  adopted  with 
their  names,  by  the  conquerors,  without  the  least  alteration 

The  tradition,  scanty  in  itself,  is  very  cautiously  adverted  to,  the 
government  politically  undermining  every  monument  which  per- 
petuates their  intrusion,  or  records  the  distinct  origins  of  their 


HISTORY.  229 

subjects :  but,  from  the  little  I  could  collect,  it  appeared  to  have 
been  an  emigration  of  numerous  enterprising  or  discontented 
families,  to  whom  the  parent  state  afterwards  became  subject.  I 
am  inclined  to  think,  (the  account  of  their  coming  from  a  country 
nearer  the  sea  being  too  general  for  conjecture  to  revolt  from,)  that 
they  emigrated  from  the  eastward  of  south,  where  the  territory 
admitted  to  be  Ashantee  proper  is  remote,  compared  with  its 
extent  southward,  or  westward  of  south,  and  the  former  con- 
sequence of  Doompassie,  and  the  towns  eastward  of  it,  support 
this  ;  yet,  the  very  few  natives  Avho  pretended  to  any  opinion  ou 
the  subject,  had  an  impression,  that  their  ancestors  emigrated  from 
the  neighbourhood  of  a  small  river,  Ainshue,  behind  Winnebah  :  a 
croom  called  Coomadie  is  to  be  found  there,  but  there  is  nothing- 
else  to  countenance  the  report. 

The  Ashantee,  Fantee,  Warsaw,  Akim,  Assin,  and  Aquapim 
languages  are  indisputably  dialects  of  the  same  root ;  their  identity 
is  even  more  striking  than  that  of  the  dialects  of  the  ancient  Greek: 
now  the  Fantees  and  Warsaws  both  cherish  a  tradition,  which 
exists  also  in  many  Ahanta  families,  that  they  were  })ressed  from 
the  interior  to  the  water  side  by  the  successful  ambition  of  a 
remote  power;  whence  it  may  be  concluded,  that  the  Ashantee 
emigration  we  are  now  considering,  was  posterior  to  a  more  im- 
portant movement  of  the  whole  people,  corresponding  with  that  of 
their  neighbours.  I  will  not  dilate  upon  this  secondary  subject 
by  referring  to  internal  evidence,  there  is  nothing  to  recompense 
either  the  investigation  or  the  perusal. 

One  curious  evidence  however  may  be  added  of  the  former 
identity  of  the  Ashantee,  Warsaw,  Fantee,  Akim,  Assin,  Aquam- 
boe,  and  part  of  the  Ahanta  nations;  which  is  a  tradition  that  the 
whole  of  these  people  were  originally  comprehended  in  twelve 
tribes  or  families;   the  Aquonna,  Abrootoo,  Abbradi,   Essonna, 


230  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Annona,  Yoko,  Intchwa,  Abadie,  Appiadie,  Tchweedam,  Agoona, 
and  Doomina;  in  which  ihej  class  themselves  still,  without  any 
regard  to  national  distinction.  For  instance,  Ashantees,  Warsaws, 
Akims,  Ahantas,  or  men  of  any  of  the  nations  before  mentioned 
will  severally  declare,  that  they  belong  to  the  Ann5na  family ; 
other  individuals  of  the  different  countries,  that  they  are  of  the 
Tchweedam  family  ;  and  when  this  is  announced  on  meeting,  they 
salute  each  other  as  brothers.  The  King  of  Ashantee  is  of  the 
Annona  family,  so  was  our  Accra  and  one  of  the  Fantee  linguists ; 
Amanquatea  is  of  the  Essonna  family.  The  Aquonna,  Essonna, 
Intchwa,  and  Tchweedam,  are  the  four  patriarchal  famihes,  and 
preside  over  the  intermediate  ones,  which  are  considered  as  the 
younger  branches.  I  have  taken  some  pains  to  acquire  the  etj-- 
mology  of  these  words,  but  with  imperfect  success;  it  requires 
much  labour  and  patience,  both  to  make  a  native  comprehend,  and 
to  be  comprehended  by  him.  Quonna  is  a  buffalo,  an  animal 
forbade  to  be  eaten  by  that  family.  Abrootoo  signifies  a  corn 
stalk,  and  Abbradi  a  plantain.  Annona  is  a  parrot,  but  it  is  also 
said  to  be  a  characteristic  of  forbearance  and  patience.  Esso  is  a 
bush  cat,  forbidden  food  to  that  family.  Yoko  is  the  red  earth 
used  to  paint  the  lower  parts  of  the  houses  in  the  interior,  Intchwa 
is  a  dog,  much  rehshed  by  native  epicures,  and  therefore  a  seri- 
ous privation.  Appiadie  signifies  a  servant  race.  Etchwee  is  a 
panther,  frequently  eaten  in  the  interior,  and  therefore  not  unne- 
cessarily forbidden.  Agoona  signifies  a  place  where  palm  oil  is 
collected.  These  are  all  the  etymologies  in  which  the  natives 
agree.  Regarding  these  famihes  as  primseval  institutions,  I  leave 
the  subject  to  the  conjectures  of  others,  merely  submitting,  that 
the  four  patriarchal  families,  the  Bufi'alo,  the  Bush  Cat,  the  Panther, 
and  the  Dog,  appear  to  record  the  first  race  of  men  living  on 
hunting;  the  Dog  family,  probably,  first  training  that  animal  to 


HISTORY.  231 

assist  in  the  chase.  The  introduction  of  planting  and  agriculture, 
seems  marked  in  the  age  of  their  immediate  descendents,  the  Corn 
stalk  and  Plantain  branches.  The  origin  and  improvement  of 
architecture  in  the  Red  earth  ;  and  of  commerce,  probably,  in  the 
Palm  oil:  indeed,  the  natives  have  included  the  Portuguese,  the 
first  foreign  traders  they  knew,  in  that  family,  alleging,  that  their 
long  and  more  intimate  intercourse  with  the  blacks,  has  made  the 
present  race  a  mixture  of  the  African  and  Portuguese.  The  Servant 
race  reminds  us  of  the  curse  of  Canaan.  This  resembles  a  Jewish 
institution,  but  the  people  of  Accra  alone  practise  circumcision, 
and  they  speak  a  language,  as  will  be  shewn,  radically  distinct,  yet 
not  to  be  assimilated  to  the  Inta,  to  which  nation  they  are  referred 
by  the  Fantees,  merely  because  it  is  the  nearest  which  practises 
circumcision.  Accra  is  a  European  corruption  of  the  word  Inkran, 
which  means  an  ant,  and  they  say  the  name  was  either  given  or 
assumed  on  account  of  their  numbers ;  this  must  have  been  before 
their  wars  with  the  Aquamboes. 

When  Adokoo,  chief  of  the  BrafTues,  a  Fantee  nation,  consulted 
the  venerable  fetish  men  of  the  sanctuary,  near  Sooprooroo,  on 
the  Ashantee  war,  they  answered,  that  nothing  could  be  more 
offensive  to  the  fetish,  than  the  Fantees  preventing  the  peaceable 
intercourse  of  their  inland  neighbours  with  the  water  side,  because 
they  were  formerly  all  one  family. 

The  conduct  of  the  later  emigration  of  the  Ashantees  is  ascribed 
to  Sai  Tootoo,  who,  assisted  by  other  leading  men  of  the  party, 
and  encouraged  by  superstitious  omens,  founded  Coomassie,  and 
was  presented  with  the  stool,  or  made  King,  from  his  superior 
quaUfications.  This  account  is  supported  by  the  mixed  nature  of 
the  government,  founded  on  equality  and  obhgation,  and  the  exist- 
ence of  a  law,  exempting  the  direct  descendants  of  any  of  Sai 
Tootoo's  peers  and  assistants,  (in  whom  the  Aristocracy  originated) 
from  capital  punishment. 


232  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

The  Dwabin  monarchy  is  said  to  have  ))een  founded  at  the  same 
lime  by  Boitinne,  who  was  of  the  same  family  as  Sai  Tootoo,  being 
the  sons  of  sisters.  Boitinne  and  his  parly,  took  possession  of 
Dwabin,  llie  largest  of  the  aboriginal  towns,  (leaving  Sai  Tootoo 
to  build  Coomassie)  whence  it  seems  his  followers  were  the  more 
powerful ;  indeed  I  have  heard  it  confessed  by  a  few  Ashantees, 
that  Dwabin  had  formerly  the  pre-eminence,  though  they  have 
always  been  firm  allies  in  war,  and  equal  sharers  in  spoil  and  con- 
quest. This  common  interest,  preserved  uninterrupted  more  than 
a  century,  by  two  rising  powers,  close  to  each  other,  with  the  view 
of  a  more  rapid  aggrandisement,  and  their  firm  discretion  in  making- 
many  serious  disagreements  subservient  to  the  policy,  is  one  of  the 
few  circumstances  worth  considering  in  a  history  composed  of 
wars  and  successions.  I  do  not  think  there  is  such  an  instance  in 
our  heptarchy,  nor  do  I  recollect  any  other  in  history,  but  that  of 
Chalcis  and  Eretria. 

Bakkee,  who  died,  as  I  have  related,*  about  a  year  ago,  was  the 
son  of  Sai  Apokoo,  the  second  king,  and  an  infant  at  the  breast  at 
the  time  of  his  father's  death  ;  he  was  a  very  old  man  when  he 
incurred  the  present  King's  displeasure,  which  supports  the  report 
of  the  Moors,  that  tlie  kingdom  has  been  founded  about  110  years. 
Bosman  and  Barbot  mention  the  Ashantees,  as  just  heard  of  by 
Europeans,  about  the  year  1700,  which  confirms  this  account. 
The  anxiety  of  the  Ashantee  government  for  daily  records,  imme- 
diately on  the  establishment  of  the  INIoors,  who  were  only  visitors 
until  the  present  reign,  acknowledges  the  perplexities  and  deficien- 
cies of  their  early  history  too  candidly,  to  leave  any  encouragement 
to  the  researches  of  strangers.  Records  beyond  half  a  century  are 
not  to  be  found  in  the  archives  either  of  Cape  Coast,  or  Christians- 
burg  Castles,  so  that  the  chronology  can  only  be  founded  on  that 
of  the  Moors,  and  circumstances. 

*  See  Diary. 


m 


HISTORY.  233 

The  Ashantee  government  concentred  the  mass  of  its  original 
force,  and  making  the  chiefs  resident  in  Coomassie  and  the  few 
large  towns  they  built  in  its  neighbourhood,  with  titular  dignities, 
conciliated  those  whom  they  subdued  by  continuing  them  in  their 
governments,  and  checked  them  by  exacting  their  frequent  attend- 
ance at  festivals,  politically  instituted.  Military  command  seems 
to  have  been  the  sole  prerogative  of  Sai  Tootoo  ;  his  judicial  and 
legislative  power  being  controlled  by  the  chiefs  or  aristocracy 
much  more  than  at  present,  who,  as  in  the  Teutonic  governments, 
directed  the  common  business  of  the  state,  only  consulting  a 
general  assembly  on  extraordinary  occasions. 

Sai  Tootoo  defeated  the  Akims  and  Assins,  subjected  the  Tufel 
country,  and  subdued  many  small  states  in  the  neighbourhood. 
He  also  conquered  Dankara,  the  King  of  which,  Intim  Dakarey, 
was  so  considerable  a  trader  in  slaves,  that  the  Dutch  Governor 
General  paid  him  a  monthly  note  from  his  own  purse,  and  assisted 
him  with  two  or  three  small  cannons,  and  a  few  Europeans,  on 
the  eve  of  the  Ashantee  invasion :  the  former  are  now  placed  as 
trophies  in  Coomassie,  at  the  top  of  the  street  in  which  the  Mission 
was  quartered.     Booroom  was  subjugated  soon  after. 

Sai  Tootoo  did  not  live  to  see  all  the  streets  of  Coomassie  com- 
pleted, for  war  being  declared  against  Atoa,  a  district  between 
Akim  and  Assin,  he  invaded  that  country.  The  chief  of  the  Atoas, 
unable  to  face  such  a  power,  dexterously  insinuated  his  small  force 
through  the  forest,  until  he  reached  the  rear  of  the  Ashantee  army, 
which  the  King  was  following  leisurely  with  a  guard  of  a  few 
hundred  men,  all  of  whom  were  destroyed  by  the  Atoas,  who 
shot  the  King  in  his  hammock.  This  happening  near  a  place 
called  Corraantee,  (razed  to  the  ground  in  vengeance,)  and  on  a 
Saturday,  the  most  solemn  oath  of  the  Ashantees,  is  "  by  Satur- 
day and  Cormantee;"  ("  Miminda  Cormantee;")  and  no  enterprise 
has  since  been  undertaken  on  that  day  of  the  week. 

Hh 


234  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

1720.  Sai  Apokoo,  brother  of  Sai  Tootoo,  was  next  placed  on 
the  stool.  Had  there  been  no  brother,  the  sister's  son  would  have 
been  the  heir;  this  extraordinary  rule  of  succession,  excluding  all 
children  but  those  of  a  sister,  is  founded  on  the  argument,  that  if 
the  wives  of  the  sons  are  faithless,  the  blood  of  the  family  is  entirely 
lost  in  the  offspring,  but  should  the  daughters  deceive  their  hus- 
bands, it  is  still  preserved. 

Sai  Apokoo  finished  the  building  of  Coomassie,  and  exchanged 
compliments  with  the  King  of  Dahomey,  since  which  there  has 
been  no  intercourse ;  the  latter,  probably,  as  a  despotic  monarch, 
did  not  wish  to  give  his  people  any  opportunity  of  contemplating 
tlie  greater  freedom  of  the  Ashantee  government. 

Sai  is  the  family  name  of  the  present  race  of  Kings,  some  of 
their  relatives  bearing  it  as  well.  Innana  is  also  the  cognomen  of 
the  Kings  of  Dagwumba. 

Apokoo  invading  the  kingdom  of  Gaman,  Abo,  the  King,  fled 
to  Kong,  whither  the  Ashantee  army  pursued  him.  The  King  of 
Kong  politically  compelled  Alx)  to  meet  his  enemies  on  the  frontier, 
least  they  might  disturb  a  neutral  kingdom.  Abo  being  defeated, 
purchased  a  peace  by  presenting  large  sums  of  gold  to  the  various 
chiefs,  and  consenting  to  an  annual  tribute  Apokoo  next  sub- 
jected Takima,  whence  the  Fantees  are  said  to  have  emigrated, 
and  forced  a  second  emigration  of  the  people  to  Gomawa,  at  the 
back  of  Winnebah.  He  dispossessed  the  Akims  of  the  English, 
Dutch,  and  Danish  Accra  notes.*  The  mortifying  destruction  of 
European  records,  confines  me  to  the  report  of  the  more  intelligent 
natives  on  the  subject  of  these  notes,  who  declare,  that  the  people 
of  Accra  being  deprived  of  them  by  the  fraud  of  the  Akims,  when 
they  were  assisted  by  them  against  the  Aquamboes,  the  Akims 
were  in  their  turn  obliged  to  yield  them  to  their  conquerors  the 
Ashantees. 

*  See  the  explanatory  list  of  words  ami  the  early  dispatclifes  in  the  First  Part. 


HISTORY.  235 

Tribute  being  demanded  from  the  neighbouring  kingdom  of 
Dagvvumba,  a  war  ensued,  and  its  troops  were  defeated.  The 
King  of  Dagwumba,  convinced  that  his  former  reliance  on  a 
superior  population  Avas  vain,  from  the  military  genius  of  the 
Ashantees,  and  the  commercial  disposition  of  his  own  people,  dis- 
pirited from  their  want  of  fire  arms,*  prudently  invited  a  peace, 
before  a  more  decisive  defeat  left  him  no  dignity,  and  his  enemies 
no  moderation  for  treating.  As  it  was,  they  still  respected  his 
resources,  and  were  content  to  secure  him  as  a  tributary,  rather 
than  exhaust  their  forces  in  his  subjugation,  in  the  infancy  of  their 
kingdom.  A  triumph  in  policy  was  in  the  view  of  the  King  of 
Dagwumba,  equivalent  to  the  small  diminution  of  personal  dignity; 
and  at  the  expense  of  an  inconsiderable  tribute,  he  established  a 
commercial  intercourse,  which,  his  markets  being  regularly  supplied 
from  the  interior,  was  both  an  advantage  and  a  security  to  him, 
from  the  great  convenience  to  his  warlike  neighbours,  whose 
superstition  assenting  to  his  great  reputation  for  making  saphies, 
and  for  augury,  would  not  only  augment  his  revenue,  but  insure 
him  superior  respect  as  a  tributary.  Inta  had  previously  become  • 
tributary. 

I  should  have  mentioned,  that  every  subject  state  was  placed 
under  the  immediate  care  of  some  Ashantee  chief,  generally  resi- 
dent in  the  capital,  who  seldom  visited  it  but  to  receive  the  tribute 
from  the  native  ruler,  for  whose  conduct  he  was  in  a  reasonable 
degree   responsible.    Thus  Quatchi  Quofie  has  now  the  care  of 

*  Fire  arms  are  unknown  to  such  of  the  nations  on  the  south  of  the  Niger  as  the 
Shereef  has  visited ;  and  the  reason  which  he  assigns  for  it  is,  tliat  the  Kings  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  the  coast,  persuaded  that  if  these  powerful  instruments  of  war  should 
reach  the  possession  of  the  populous  inland  states,  their  ovm  independence  would  be  lost, 
have  stricdy  prohibited,  and  by  the  wisdom  of  their  measures,  have  effectually  prevented 
this  dangerous  merchandise  from  passing  beyond  the  limits  of  their  dominions.    Lucas. 


236  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Dankara,  Odumata  of  Soota,  Apokoo  of  Aquamboe,  Obosa  Quan- 
tabisa  of  Daboia,  &c.  &:c.  Their  policy,  in  short,  not  only  in  this 
particular,  but  in  many  others,  seems  to  have  been  closely  similar 
to  that  of  the  Persians,  as  described  by  Herodotus. 

Boitinne,  the  founder  of  Dwabin,  died  in  this  reign. 

1741.  Sai  Apokoo  was  succeeded  by  his  brother  Sai  Aquissi.  I 
could  not  learn  any  particular  exploits  of  his,  excepting  that  he 
preserved  the  subjection  of  the  states  previously  reduced.  The 
King  of  Akim,  in  his  time,  (the  last  who  had  the  power  of  govern- 
ing without  consulting  the  pynins  or  elders)  desiring  to  go  to  war 
Avith  his  neighbours,  was  obliged  to  obtain  permission  from  the 
Ashantee  government,  which  he  did  by  the  promise  of  .sending 
them  half  the  spoil ;  but,  gaining  little  or  nothing,  he  did  not  do^ 
so.  He  soon  afterwards  heard  of  Aquissi's  intention,  to  demand 
his  head  ;  and  knowing  that  King^s  word  was  irrevocable,  he  sum- 
moned his  ministers,  and  desired  to  sacrifice  his  life  for  the  quiet 
of  his  people :  his  ministers  insisted  on  sharing  his  fate  ;  and  a 
barrel  of  powder  being  brought  for  each  to  sit  on,  thej'  drank  a 
large  quantity  of  rum,  and  blew  themselves  up  with  the  fire  from 
their  pipes.    Dr.  Isert  also  heard  of  this  in  Akini. 

1753.  Aquissi  was  succeeded  by  Sai  Cudjo.  The  Aristocracy 
was  retrenched  and  conciliated  by  this  monarch,  who  raised  his 
favourite  captains  to  the  vacant  stools,*  uniting  three  or  four  in  one, 
and  swearing  that  their  lives  should  be  equally  sacred,  (see  p.  4,) 
to  anticipate  any  doubts  of  his  fidelity  to  the  constitution. 

Sai  Cudjo  defeating  the  Warsaws  and  Assins  more  decisively 
than  his  predecessors,  first  compelled  them  to  acknowledge  their 
fealty  to  Ashantee.     He  also  subjected  Aquamboe,  and  Aquapim, 

*  "  To  sncceed  to  the  stool,"  does  not  mean  to  the  seat  in  tlie  council,  but  is  the 
common  expression  for  succeeding  to  a  property  even  in  private  life.  The  saine  stool,  or 
seat  descends  through  many  generations. 


HISTORY.  237 

quelled  several  revolts  of  other  countries,  and  was  esteemed  a  very 
great  captain.  The  grandfather  of  Amanquatea  Atooa,  conquered 
Sawee,  killing  the  king  Boomancumma  ;  and  Bakkee,  soon  after- 
wards, subjugated  Moinsea.  In  this  reign  Quama,  king  of  Dwabin, 
died. 

1785.  Sai  Quamina  succeeded  his  grandfather  Sai  Cudjo,  at  a 
very  early  age.  The  Akims  revolted  soon  after  his  accession,  under 
Ofoosoo,  their  most  active  ruler  for  many  years :  he  engaged 
several  smaller  states  in  alliance,  and  defeated  the  Ashantees 
repeatedly;  at  length  the  treachery  of  his  followers  procured 
Quatchi  Quofie,  the  Ashantee  general,  his  head  ;  with  which  he 
returned  to  Coomassie,  the  country  having  again  submitted.  The 
fame  of  Ofoosoo  made  Quatchi  Quofie  so  vain  of  this  achievement, 
that  he  had  a  figure  of  him  made,  with  which  his  umbrella  is  still 
crowned,  and  before  which  he  dances  with  every  insulting  gesture 
and  vaunt,  when  he  arrives  on  the  ground  at  the  various  cere- 
monies. The  present  king  has  frequently  been  heard  to  say,  that 
it  was  a  great  pity  this  old  man  did  not  know  better,  for  the  Akim 
caboceers  generally  attended  his  summons  with  alacrity  and  good 
will ;  but  the  sight  of  the  insulted  ethgy  of  their  favourite  leader, 
disgusted  them,  and  excited  their  revolt.  These  brave  people  have 
risen  from  their  dependence  at  least  eight  times. 

The  government  finding  a  pretext  to  invade  Banda,  the  King 
Odrasee  vigorously  opposed  the  Ashantee  army  ;  but  at  length, 
seeing  he  must  inevitably  fall  into  their  hands,  to  prevent  his  head 
being  found,  which  circumstance  he  knew  would  sorely  disquiet 
the  enemy,*  and  solace  his  own  people,  ordered,  just  before  he 

*  On  the  death  of  the  late  King  of  Amanahea,  two  competitors  for  the  stool  appeared, 
one  called  Suikee  or  Suiquah ;  the  other's  name  I  am  ignorant  of.  Both  collected  their 
slaves  and  adherents,  and  fought.  Suikee  was  obliged  to  fly,  and  hide  himself  in  the 
bush ;  but  the  people  being  dissatisfied  with  the  conqueror,  Sujkee  re-appeared  against 


^  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

filled  himself,  a  woman  to  be  sacrificed,  and  the  abdomen  being 
fipped,  his  head  to  be  sewn  up  within  it,  and  her  body  afterwards 
to  be  buried  in  the  heap  of  the  shiin.  It  was  discovered  by  bribes, 
and  is  now  on  one  of  the  King's  great  drums.  Soota  was  also  sub- 
jugated in  this  reign,  occupying  the  army  under  Odumata  ten 
years,  during  which  period  he  was  not  allowed  to  see  Coomassie. 
Odumata  afterwards  subdued  Coranza,  the  larger  part  of  his  army 
being  Gaman  auxiliaries. 

Sai  Quamina  raised  Apokoo  to  the  stool  of  Assimadoo,  to  whom 
he  had  been  a  servant,  in  exclusion  of  the  family. 

The  Danish  Governor-General,  meditating  the  punishment  of 
the  Popos,  applied  to  Sai  Quamina  for  oOOO  Ashantee  auxiliaries ; 
the  request  was  granted,  but  while  the  troops  were  on  their  march 
down,  the  Governor  died,  and  his  successor  prudently  paid  250 
ounces  of  gold,  (alleged  to  have  been  advanced  by  the  King  for 
their  subsistence  on  their  march  to  Christiansburg  Castle)  rather 
than  involve  himself  in  the  expenses  and  troubles  of  such  an 
aUiance. 

1798.  Sai  Quamina  had  remained  twelve  months  on  a  visit  at 
Dwabin,  deaf  to  the  remonstrances  of  various  deputations  urging 

the  town.  When  his  rival  was  reduced  beyond  all  hope,  he  threw  all  his  gold,  whicli 
fiUed  several  jars,  into  the  lake  ;  and  then  collecting  his  wives  and  the  different  branches 
of  his  family,  went  with  them  into  a  remote  part  of  the  bush,  and  cut  all  their  throats, 
with  the  exception  of  one  son,  whom  he  reserved  to  assist  him  in  burying  the  bodies.  He 
then  made  this  son  swear  on  his  fetish,  to  kill  and  bury  him,  and  never  to  discover  where 
the  bodies  were  laid :  the  son  fulfilled  the  oath,  and  returned  to  Apollonia,  but  I  am 
not  certain  what  became  of  him.  After  Suikee  had  seated  himself  firmly  on  the  stool, 
he  by  some  means  discovered  where  the  bodies  were  concealed  ;  he  caused  them  to  be 
dug  up,  and  taken  to  Ap.  llonia  town  ;  he  then  ranged  them  in  a  sitting  posture,  in  a 
row  along  the  beach,  with  stakes  to  extend  their  arms,  and  suppoit  their  heads :  this 
horrid  spectacle  was  exhibited  until  even  their  bones  had  perished.  One  of  Suikee's  first 
acts  after  his  accession,  was  to  consecrate  his  hiding  place  in  the  bush,  making  it  death, 
or  a  heavy  fine,  for  any  one  to  swear  by  Suikee 's  bush,  and  not  to  keep  the  oath. 


HISTORY  289 

fyis  return,  and  infatuated  beyond  recovery  by  the  arts  of  his  mis- 
tiness, G3'a\va,  the  daughter  of  the  King  ;  when  it  was  formally 
announced  to  him,  that  if  he  was  not  present  at  the  approaching 
Yam  custom,  he  would  be  deprived  of  the  stool.  It  is  said,  that 
this  woman  refused  to  accompany  him  to  Coomassie,  either  dread- 
ing the  resentment  of  his  mother,  a  woman  of  violent  passions,  and 
great  ambition,  or,  which  is  more  probable,  influenced  by  her 
father  to  mingle  this  repugnance  with  her  blandishments,  to  acce- 
lerate the  ruin  of  Sai  Quamina,  which  he  was  not  without  hopes 
might  lead  to  his  own  aggrandisement.  The  form  of  the  dethrone- 
ment is  interesting.  Appia  Danqua,  whose  power  seems  to  have 
been  equal  to  that  of  mayor  of  the  palace,  repaired  to  the  King's 
mother  with  the  chief  captains,  and  deliberately  recounting  the 
offences  of  her  son,  commanded  her  to  remonstrate  with  him,  as 
the  daughter  of  their  old  king,  and  the  parent  to  whom  he  owed 
his  elevation.  The  mother,  who  no  doubt  had  assisted  in  the 
pViVate  eOHiticil,  affecting  to  bewail  her  own  misfortune  and  her 
son's  disgrace,  confessed,  with  seeming  reluctance,  that  her  re- 
monstrances had  already  been  despised,  that  the  king  had  even 
attempted  her  life,  and  begged  them  to  raise  her  second  son,  Sai 
Apokoo,  to  the  stool  the  elder  had  forfeited.  This  was  complied 
with,  and  they  sent  Sai  Quamina  a  few  of  his  women  and  slaves, 
desiring  him  to  retire  into  the  bush  and  build  himself  a  croom,  and 
on  his  death,  which  happened  soon  after,  as  it  was  said,  from  the 
poignancy  of  his  feelings,  they  made  the  greatest  custom  for  him 
which  had  ever  been  known.  The  sable  Cleopatra  died  soon  after 
him.  It  was  whispered,  that  those  he  had  formerly  injured  inces- 
santly insulting  him  in  his  retirement,  even  to  abusing  his  wives 
before  his  face,  he  had  a  private  interview  with  the  present  King, 
communicated  several  schemes  of  conquests,  invoked  him  to  dis- 
trust, and,  if  possible,  to  punish  those  who  had  forsaken  him,  and 


240  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.       , 

implored  death ;  which  was  inflicted  (as  the  blood  of  the  royal 
family  could  not  be  shed,  and  as  he  could  not  be  private]}'  drowned 
in  the  sacred  river)  by  fixing  his  feet  on  the  ground,  bending  his 
body  backwards  with  a  prop  in  the  small  of  his  back,  and  suspend- 
ing several  large  teeth  of  ivory  from  a  noose  around  his  neck, 
which,  hanging  from  the  prop,  strangled  him. 

1799.  Sai  Apokoo  did  not  live  more  than  a  few  Aveeks  after 
being  elevated  to  the  stool,  and  Avas  succeeded  by  his  brother 
Sai  Tootoo  Quamina,  the  present  King,  who  must  then  have 
been  about  seventeen  years  of  age.  On  this  occasion,  the 
general  assembly  of  the  captains,  jealous  of  the  aristocrac}',  and 
desirous  of  making  a  favourable  impression  on  the  young  King, 
insisted  that  the  remaining  members  of  it,  should  propitiate  the 
reign,  by  publicly  disclaiming  their  exemption  from  capital 
pupishment. 

The  invasion  of  the  Fan  tee  kingdom  in  1807  was  the  first  im- 
portant military  act  of  the  present  reign,  the  circumstances  and 
origin  of  which,  being  pretty  accurately  described  by  Mr.  Mere- 
dith, in  the  extract  in  the  Appendix,  I  need  not  repeat.  Whilst  the 
invasion  was  meditating,  Baba,  now  the  chief  of  the  Moors,  pre- 
sented himself  to  solicit  an  asylum  in  Coomassie,  having  been 
driven  from  Gamba  by  the  rapacity  of  the  King,  his  near  relative ; 
and  professing  solely  to  desire  the  recovery  of  a  large  property 
with  held  from  him,  to  make  tlie  King  of  Ashantee  the  heir  to  it. 
The  King  promised  he  would  oblige  the  King  of  Gamba  to  do  him 
justice,  on  his  return  from  the  Fan  tee  war,  if  Baba  and  his  com- 
panions were  fortunate  in  their  prayers  and  charms  for  his  success. 
The  King  of  Gamba  did  not  think  proper  to  resist  the  demand 
afterwards  made  through  the  Ashantee  government. 

I8O7.  Cofmadua,  the  King's  mother,  was  left  regent  during  his 
absence ;  this  woman  was  a  second  Messalina,  and  many  young 


HISTORY.  241 

captains  who  refused  to  intrigue  with  her,  from  tiear  or  disgust, 
have  been  ultimately  the  victims  of  her  artifice  and  vengeance. 

Yaboquorra,  the  King  of  Dwabin,  died  in  this  interval,  and  was 
succeeded  by  his  grandson,  Boitinne  Quania,  now  about  twenty 
years  of  age. 

1811.  Attah,  caboceer  or  King  of  Akim,  had  followed  the  King 
to  the  first  Fantee  war,  and  behaved  well.  Apokoo  being  sent  on 
an  expedition  against  the  Fantees  of  Winnebah  and  Berracoo, 
Attah  received  orders  to  join  him  with  his  contingency ;  instead  of 
which,  he  sent  a  message  to  Apokoo,  before  he  passed  the  Boo- 
sempra  river,  refusing  to  join  him,  and  advising  him  not  to  attempt 
to  pass  through  his  country.  Apokoo  reported  this  immediately 
to  the  King,  who,  as  is  usual,  sent  to  Attah  to  enquire  if  he  had 
said  so.  He  confessed  that  he  had,  without  hesitation,  adding, 
thai  the  King  treated  him  like  a  slave,  in  incessantly  summoning 
him  to  attend  his  wars,  and  besides,  that  he  ne\er  could  forget  that 
Sai  Cudjo  had  cut  off  his  grandfather's  head,  and  that  he  would 
fight  with  Apokoo  whenever  he  came.  Soon  afterwards,  Quamina 
Guma,  (the  father  of  Becqua,  captain  of  Danish  Accra,)  and  one 
of  the  King's  sons,  returning  to  Coomassie  with  a  large  quantity  of 
gold  collected  to  make  custom  for  the  King's  mother,  Attah  inter- 
cepted, robbed,  and  murdered  them  and  their  party,  with  the 
excepticm  of  one,  whom  he  desired  to  tell  the  King  that  this  act 
would  convince  him  he  was  in  earnest,  and  determined  to  go  to 
war  with  him.  Apokoo  Avas  immediately  ordered  to  proceed 
against  Attah,  who  had  engaged  Quaw  SafFatchee  as  a  party  in  the 
revolt,  who  was  weary  of  the  same  laborious  vassalage.  When 
Apokoo  entered  the  Akim  country,  Attah  was  for  attacking  him 
immediately,  and  at  sun  rise,  but  Quaw  impressing  his  doubts  of 
their  succeeding  against  the  superior  warfare  of  the  Ashantees, 
begged  him   to   stop   until  three   o'clock,  when   the   Ashantees 

I  i 


242  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

generally  ate  and  slept,  and  when  they  might  be  better  able  to 
retreat  if  worsted,  as  the  enemy  never  pursued  in  the  dusk.  The 
attack  was  a  surprise,  but  the  figiit  continued  obstinate  and  unde- 
cided until  night,  w^hen  Apokoo  found  he  had  lost  so  many  men, 
that  he  immediately  dispatched  a  messenger  to  summon  the  Accras 
to  his  aid,  as  vassals  to  the  King.  His  messenger  reached  Accra 
the  next  day,  and  that  people  joined  him  on  the  following,  on 
which  the  enemy  retreated  precipitately ;  Attah  to  windward,  and 
Quaw  to  Adda.  Apokoo  followed  the  latter,  who  having  escaped 
him  after  a  tedious  watchfulness,  Apokoo,  believing  the  Danish 
governor,  Mr.  Flindt,  to  have  connived,  made  him  his  prisoner, 
and  kept  him  with  the  army,  which  soon  afterwards  encamped  in 
Aquapim,  five  months,  during  which  time  he  was  treated  with 
kindness  and  respect,  but  his  ransom  amounted  to  nearly  £400. 
Apokoo  was  soon  after  ordered  back  to  Coomassie.  He  told  me 
he  brought  the  bell  of  Adda  fort  as  a  trophy. 

Appia  Danqua  had  been  sent,  at  the  same  time  with  Apokoo, 
with  6000  men  against  the  Fantee  states  which  were  disposed  to 
the  revolters.  He  defeated  them  at  Apam,  and  took  BafFoo  the 
Annamaboe  caboceer  prisoner,  but  whilst  his  army  was  before 
Tantum,  intelligence  of  the  approach  of  Attah,  who  had  retreated 
from  Apokoo,  but  whose  name  was  as  redoubtable  as  his  disposi- 
tion was  rapacious,  subdued  his  firmness,  and  under  the  plea  of 
prudence,  hurried  him  back  to  the  interior. 

The  path  was  afterwards  shut  for  two  years,  through  the  vigilance, 
and  from  the  terror  of  Cudjo  Cooma,  who  had  been  elected  to  the 
stool  of  Akim,  six  months  after  the  death  of  Attah,  whose  imme- 
diate successor  (Quawko  Ashantee)  tyrannized  so  cruelly  during 
that  period,  that  he  was  commanded  by  the  people  to  kill  himself, 
and  could  only  obtain  the  indulgence  of  a  week's  respite,  which  he 
spent  in  singing  and  dancing,  in  fact  in'  making  his  own  custom. 


HISTORY.  243 

Quaw  SafFatchee  had  also  leagued  with  the  Fantees  who  attacked 
the  Accra  town,  but  were  repulsed.    The  King  suddenly  deter- 
mined to  open  the  path  to  receive  the  arrears  of  pay  due  from 
the  Forts,  and  sent  Amanqua  Abiniowa  with  an  army  of  20,000  1814. 
men,  charging  him  to  offer  no  violence  nor  commit  hostility,  unless 
provoked  by  attack,  but  to  receive  the  submission  of  the  Akims 
and  Aquapims,  and  merely  to  exact  a  fine  to  seal  it.     Appia 
Danqua  was  sent  at  the  same  time  with  a  smaller  army  to  the  back 
of  Winnebah  and  Tantum,  to  intercept  the  revolters  if  they  fled  to 
windward.     Abiniowa  proceeded  to  Aguiasso,  one  day's  march 
from  Aquapim,  unmolested,  when  one  of  his  foraging  parties  was 
attacked    by   Cudjo    Cooma   and   seven   men  killed.     A  general 
engagement  took   place  the  next  morning,   and  after  six  hours 
fighting  the  Ashantees  were  victorious,  and  sent  a  jaw-bone  and  a 
slave  to  each  of  the  Accra  towns.     Amanqua  then  marched  to 
Accra  to  receive  the   King's  pay,  and  remained  nearly  twelve 
months  in  its  neighbourhood.     He  then  returned  to  Aquapim, 
where,  after  some  time,  he  received  a  message  from  the  King,  with 
a  large  quantity  of  gold,  advising  him  that  he  must  not  see  his  face 
again  unless  he  brought  the  heads  of  Cudjo  and  Quaw.    Amanqua 
did  not  immediately  communicate  this  message  to  his  captains, 
but  ordered  them  to  deposit  their  equipage  and  property  in  Accra, 
and  then,  making  a  large  custom  for  three  days,  to  propitiate  the 
enterprise,  he  took  fetish  with  all  his  captains  that  they  would  never 
return  to  Coomassie  without  the  heads. 

1816.  Appia  Danqua  had  died  in  Assin  in  the  interim,  and  was 
succeeded  by  his  brother  Appia  Nanu,  under  whom  Bakkee  was 
the  second  in  command.  The  King  hearing  nothing  of  his  pro- 
gress, and  his  indolence  being  reported  to  him,  sent  orders  to 
Amanqua  to  join  him,  which  he  did  at  Essecooma,  reproaching 
him  for  his  cowardice.     Soon  after  this,  the  skirmish  at  the  salt 


2U  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

pond  near  Cape  Coast  took  place,  the  detachment  was  principally 
of  Assins,  and  commanded  by  Quasheemanqua.  Yokokroko  soon 
afterwards  joined  the  combined  army,  (which  had  marched  to 
Abra,)  with  a  few  hundred  men  destined  to  attack  Commenda. 

Not  long  after  the  palaver  was  settled  at  Cape  Coast,  and  the 
army  again  divided,  Cudjo  Cooma  was  killed  by  a  party  of  Appia 
Nanu's  at  Insoom  or  Incoom  near  Essecooma;  upon  which,  Appia, 
instead  of  marching  to  join  Amanqua  as  had  been  concerted, 
returned  to  Coomassie,  where  he  was  coldly  received,  but  not 
accused  until  the  12th  of  July  last  (see  Diary).  Adoo  Danqua, 
the  brother  of  QuaAV  Saffatchee,  came  to  the  Accras  and  con- 
certed the  delivering  of  him  up,  as  he  had  tired  him  out  with  his 
wanderings.  The  Ashantees  agreed  to  prevail  on  the  King  to  give 
him  the  stool  if  he  did.  A  few  Accras  and  a  few  Ashantees  accom- 
panied him,  and  when  he  came  near  where  his  brother  was  hid, 
one  day's  journey  from  Accra,  he  placed  an  ambush,  and  sitting 
down,  expostulated  with  him,  and  recommended  him  to  kill  him- 
self; but  Quaw  would  not,  alleging  that  he  should  eventually 
wear  out  the  King's  patience  in  pursuing  him ;  on  this  Adoo  rose, 
and  a  shot  was  immediately  fired  at  Quaw,  who  was  brought  down 
and  rose  again  four  times,  exclaiming  that  his  brother  was  his 
murderer,  who  reflected  the  reproach  on  his  own  obstinacy.  The 
body  was  brought  to  Accra,  and  his  head  sent  to  Coomassie,  and 
it  is  now  a  trophy  at  Bantama  or  the  back  town.  Amanqua  then 
returned  to  Coomassie,  and  arrived  about  six  months  before  the 
Mission. 

The  Aowins,  to  anticipate  the  ambitious  views  of  the  Ashantee 
government,  lately  sent  an  embassy  with  offers  of  service  and 
tribute,  but  the  amount  of  the  latter  has  not  yet  been  decided. 

The  King  had  sent  to  demand  the  royal  stool  of  Buntooko  or 
-Gaman   which  was  thickly  plated  and  embossed  with  gold ;  it  was 


HISTORY.  245 

given  up  by  Adinkara,  the  King,  from  fear;  his  sister,  a  woman 
of  mascuHne  spirit  and  talent,  and  the  soul  of  the  government,  being 
absent.  On  her  return,  she  reproached  her  brother  severely,  and 
ordered  a  solid  gold  stool  to  be  made  to  replace  it.  That  being 
also  demanded,  as  the  right  of  the  superior,  with  a  large  gold 
ornament  in  the  shape  of  an  elephant,  dug  out  from  some  ruins, 
the  sister,  receiving  the  ambassadors,  replied,  that  the  King  should 
not  have  either,  and  added,  impressing  it  with  more  force  than 
delicacy,  that  her  brother  and  she  must  change  sexes,  for  she  was 
most  proper  for  a  King,  and  would  fight  to  the  last  rather  than  be 
so  constantly  despoiled.  The  King  of  Ashantee  sent  word  that  she 
was  fit  to  be  a  king's  sister,  and  a  strong  woman,  and  he  would 
give  her  twelve  months  to  prepare  for  war.  Several  embassies 
have  been  sent  however  to  negotiate ;  two  during  our  stay,  the 
latter,  it  was  said,  with  an  offer  of  400  Bendas,  (£3200.)  but  the 
aristocracy  were  obstinate,  and  urged  to  the  King,  that  his  other 
tributaries  would  laugh  at  him,  if  he  did  not  get  the  King  of 
Gaman's  head.    The  small  pox  was  raging  in  Buntooko. 

It  is  clear,  that  the  King  of  Ashantee  contemplates  the  reduction 
of  the  King  of  Dwabin  from  an  independent  ally  to  a  tributary. 
We  Avitnessed  one  circumstance  to  the  point.  A  messenger  being 
sent  to  require  gold  of  Dwabin,  the  King  of  which  is  a  very  weak 
young  man,  a  captain  of  the  royal  family  replied,  that  there  was 
no  war  on  foot  to  require  gold,  and  as  it  could  only  be  for  the  in- 
dividual benefit  of  Ashantee,  the  government  must  be  reminded 
that  Dwabin  had  formerly  exacted  gold,  and  was  not  now  to  be 
subjected  to  imposition,  because  the  right  had  been  yielded  from 
respect  to  the  sister  kingdom.  This  being  reported  to  the  King, 
he  suppressed  his  anger,  and  sent  a  gold  headed  sword,  with  other 
marks  of  dignity  and  favour  to  this  man,  who,  to  his  surprise, 
refused  them,  alleging,  that  the  honours  he  already  possessed  at 


246  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

home  became  him  better.  The  King  still  temporised.  Some 
months  after,  at  the  full  assembly  convened  for  the  proclamation 
of  the  treaty  with  the  British  Government,  the  mother  of  the  King 
of  Dwabin,  who  acts  as  regent,  and  over  whom  Sai  is  known  to 
have  much  influence,  suddenly,  and  no  doubt  at  his  instance, 
accused  this  captain  of  plotting  to  deprive  her  son  of  the  stool. 
The  accusation  Avas  supported  by  others,  who  prayed  the  King  to 
judge  the  palaver.  The  King  of  Dwabin  sat  with  the  greatest 
indifference.  The  accused  made  an  animated  appeal  to  the  as- 
sembly, and  Sai  affected  to  support  him  vehemently,  and  ordered 
the  linguists  to  give  him  chalk,  or  acquit  him.  The  man  thanking 
him  very  earnestly,  Adoosee  was  desired  to  tell  him,  that  his  ill-will 
to  the  King  of  Ashantee  had  been  reported  in  a  very  aggravated 
manner;  but  as  it  was  no  longer  beHeved,  he  was  only  required  to 
take  fetish,  that  he  liked  the  King,  and  would  do  him  all  the  good 
he  could  ;  this  done,  the  man  received  several  marks  of  favour  and 
bounty. 

Sai  Tootoo  is  considered  to  take  better  care  of  the  treasury  than 
any  of  his  predecessors  :  he  cautiously  extends  his  prerogative,  and 
takes  every  opportunity  of  increasing  the  number  of  secondary 
captains,  by  dignifying  the  young  men  brought  up  about  his 
person,  and  still  retaining  them  in  his  immediate  service. 

Sai  Acotoo,  the  King's  brother,  and  the  heir  to  the  stool,  ap- 
peared to  me  very  inferior  in  ability ;  but  the  Ashantees  say 
otherwise. 

The  King's  private  character  is  amiable ;  the  children  of  his 
brothers  share  the  fondness  and  indulgence  which  endear  him  to 
his  own,  and  his  few  moments  of  recreation  are  the  liveliest  of 
theirs.  The  circumstances  connected  with  the  various  instances 
which  we  witnessed  of  his  generosity  to  others,  justify  me  in 
ascribing  it  to  the  benevolence  of  his  disposition.     His  admiration 


HISTORY.  247 

of  ingenious  rather  than  splendid  novelty,  has  frequently  imposed 
the  appearance  of  a  covetousness,  scarcel}^  culpable  from  his  reve- 
rence for  invention,  and  the  amazement  its  extent  excited.  To 
present  him  with  the  trifles  which  attracted  his  notice  when  he 
visited  us,  offended  him,  he  told  us  we  must  only  answer  his  ques- 
tions, and  let  him  examine  them ;  to  make  dashes  on  the  occasion 
of  a  private  visit,  was  to  vitiate  the  motive  of  the  condescension, 
which  could  not  be  repeated  unless  we  paid  more  respect  to  his 
dignity  and  friendship.  The  King  is  certainly  capricious,  and  his 
liberality  of  mind  is  stained  by  prejudices  against  individuals  which 
he  confesses  to  be  unaccountable;  and  to  several  of  the  principal 
actors  in  his  brother's  deposition,  (which,  desirous  to  extend  his 
prerogative,  he  would  tacitly  censure,)  he  has  been  unjustly  severe. 
His  humanity  is  frequently  superior  to  his  superstition  and  policy, 
he  offended  Quatchi  Quofie,  one  of  the  four,  by  limiting  the 
human  sacrifices  at  his  mother's  funeral,  and  resisted  all  the  impor- 
tunities, founded  on  precedent,  for  the  allowance  of  a  greater 
number.  He  dismissed  us  twice  with  apologies  for  not  proceeding 
to  business,  confessing,  the  first  time,  that  he  had  been  unusually 
irritated  just  after  he  sent  for  us,  and  had  not  recovered  his  calm-^ 
ness ;  the  latter,  that  some  agreeable  news  had  induced  him  to 
drink  more  than  fitted  him  to  hear  great  palavers  like  ours.  In 
his  judicial  administration,  a  lie  always  aggravated  the  punishment, 
and  truth  generally  extenuated,  and  sometimes  atoned  of  itself  for 
the  offence:  he  invariably  anticipated  the  temerity  of  perjury, 
where  convicting  evidence  was  to  be  opposed  to  the  accused. 
The  King's  manners  are  a  happy  mixture  of  dignity  and  affability, 
they  engage  rather  than  encourage,  and  his  general  deportment  is 
conciliating  though  repressive.  He  speaks  well,  and  more  logically 
than  most  of  his  council,  who  are  diffuse,  but  his  superior  talent  i.s 
marked  in  the  shrewd  questions  by  which  he  fathoms  a  design  or 


248  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

a  narrative.  He  excels  in  courtesy,  is  wisely  inquisitive,  and 
candid  in  his  comparisons :  war,  legislature,  and  mechanism,  were 
his  favourite  topics  in  our  private  conversations.  The  great,  but 
natural  fault  of  the  King  is  his  ambition ;  I  do  not  think  it  has 
ever  proved  superior  to  the  pledge  of  his  honour,  but  it  certainly 
has,  and  that  frequently,  to  his  sense  of  justice,  which  is  repressed 
rather  than  impaired  by  it.  This  sketch  of  his  character  being 
narrowed  to  my  own  knowledge,  will  be  assisted  by  the  following 
history  of  Agay,  the  second  linguist. 

Agay,  when  a  boy,  cariied  salt  from  Aquoomo  to  Coomassie  for 
sale ;  he  was  afterwards  taken  into  the  service  of  Aquootoo,  cabo- 
ceer  of  that  place,  against  whom  the  government  had  instituted  a 
palaver,  but  wrongfully.  Agay  accompanied  the  caboceer  Avhen 
he  was  sent  for  to  Coomassie  for  judgment.  After  the  King's 
messengers  had  spoken,  misrepresenting  the  case  in  preference  to 
confessing  the  King  to  be  in  the  wrong,  and  the  caboceer  was  con- 
fused, this  boy  suddenly  rose,  and  said,  to  use  the  words  of  the 
narrators,  "  King,  you  have  people  to  wash  you,  to  feed  you,  to 
serve  you,  but  you  have  no  people  to  speak  the  truth  to  you,  and 
tell  you  when  God  does  not  hke  your  palaver."  The  assembly 
cried  out  unanimously,  that  the  boy  might  be  hurried  away  and 
his  head  taken  off;  but  the  King  said,  "  No!  let  him  finish;"  and 
Agay  is  said  to  have  spoken  three  hours,  and  to  have  disclosed 
and  argued  the  palaver  to  the  King's  conviction,  and  his  master's 
acquittal.  He  was  retained  to  attend  the  King,  but  treated  with 
no  particular  distinction.  A  serious  palaver  occurring  between 
two  principal  men,  it  was  debated  before  the  council,  who  were  at 
a  loss  to  decide,  but  inclined  to  the  man  whom  the  King  doubted; 
judgment  was  suspended.  In  the  interim  the  King  sent  Agay, 
privately,  to  the  house  of  each,  to  hear  their  palavers  in  turn,  tete- 
a-tete  ;  he  did  so,  and  when  the  King  asked  him  who  he  thought 


HISTORY.  249 

was  right,  he  confirmed  his  impression.  "  Now,"  said  the  Kino-, 
"  I  know  you  have  a  good  head."  Agay  was  then  made  a  Linguist, 
and  presented  with  a  house,  wives,  slaves,  and  gold.  Sometime 
afterwards,  the  King  confessing  a  prejudice  against  a  wealthy 
captain,  his  linguists,  always  inclined  to  support  him,  said,  "  If 
you  wish  to  take  his  stool  from  him,  we  will  make  the  palaver ;" 
but  Agay  sprung  up,  exclaiming,  "  No,  King !  that  is  not  good ; 
that  man  never  did  you  any  wrong,  you  know  all  the  gold  of  your 
subjects  is  your's  at  their  death,  but  if  you  get  all  now,  strangers 
will  go  away  and  say,  only  the  King  has  gold,  and  that  will  not  be 
good,  but  let  them  say  the  King  has  gold,  all  his  captains  have 
gold,  and  all  his  people  have  gold,  then  your  country  will  look 
handsome,  and  the  bush  people  fear  you."  For  this  the  King 
made  him  second  linguist,  and  much  increased  his  property. 
When  Amanqua  had  the  command  of  the  army  against  Cudjo 
Cooma,  the  King  asked  him  which  linguist  he  would  take,  he 
replied,  Adoosee  or  Otee;  the  King  said,  no!  I  will  give  you  this 
boy,  he  has  the  best  head  for  hard  palavers.  Amanqua  urged 
that  he  was  too  young,  the  King  told  him  he  was  a  fool  to  say  so. 
He  then  made  Amanqua  take  fetish  with  him  to  report  the  merits 
of  Agay  faithfully,  who  distinguished  himself  so  much,  that  he  is 
always  employed  in  difficult  foreign  palavers. 

The  manners  of  the  higher  orders  of  captains,  always  dignified, 
are  courteous  and  hospitable  in  private,  though  haughty  and 
abrupt  in  public.  I  believe  them  to  be  jealous  rather  than  tenaci- 
ous of  their  honour,  and  their  sophistry  is  as  ingenious  as  their 
maxims  are  prepossessing.  They  consider  that  war  alone  affords 
an  exertion  or  display  of  ability,  and  they  esteem  the  ambition 
of  their  King  as  his  greatest  virtue.  They  have  no  idea  of  the 
aggrandisement  of  a  state  by  civil  poHcy  alone.  They  are  candid 
in  acknowledging  their  defeats,  and  just  to  the  prowess  of  their 

K  k 


250  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

enemies,  but  they  possess  little  humanity,  and  are  very  avaricious 
and  oppressive.  They  listen  to  superstition  with  the  most  childish 
credulity,  but  they  only  cultivate  it  for  the  j:)reservation  of  life  and 
the  indulgence  of  passion;  beyond  this,  the  Moors  could  never 
advance  their  enquiries ;  they  are  neither  curious  nor  anxious 
about  a  future  state,  pretending  to  it  from  rank  and  achievement 
rather  than  domestic  virtue  ;  and  believing,  if  the  latter  were  out- 
raged, the  solemnities  and  sacrifices  of  their  funeral  customs  would 
purchase  their  repose.  Indeed,  licensed  as  they  are  by  the  zealous 
conflicts  of  rival  superstitions,  (Moorish  and  Pagan,)  their  lives 
are  mcderate  and  benevolent  to  what  might  be  expected,  and 
merit  nioic  than  our  excuses. 

The  lower  order  of  people  are  ungrateful,  insolent,  and  licentious. 
The  King  repeatedly  said,  he  believed  them  to  be  the  worst  people 
existing,  except  the  Fantees,  and  not  comparable  with  many  of 
their  inland  neighbours.  Perhaps  we  should  agree  with  A'^oltaire, 
"  Je  crois  qu'il  faut  plutot  juger  d'une  puissante  nation  par  ceux 
qui  sont  a  la  tete,  que  par  la  populace."* 

*  The  principal  districts  of  Fanlee,  are,  the  AfFettoo,  the  BrafFoo,  and  the  Esse- 
coomah ;  Cape  Coast  Is  in  the  former.  The  Dey  of  AfFettoo  (a  title  probably  introduced 
by  the  P  ituguese)  was  formerly  supreme  in  Fantee,  so  far  as  summoning  the  other 
kings  and  caboceers  at  pleasure,  prescribing  their  political  condvict,  and  being  appealed' 
to  and  sentencing  in  all  cases  of  life  and  death,  wherever  or  by  whomsoever  tlie  crime 
may  have  been  committed;  witchcraft  excepted.  Upwards  of  a  century  ago  the  small 
pox  almost  depopulated  AfFettoo,  then  the  largest  town  and  capital  of  all  Fantee,  (it  is 
about  10  miles  inland  from  Cape  Coast,)  and  all  tlie  immediate  heirs  to  the  stool  being 
cut  off,  the  supremacy  was  transferred  to  Mankasim.  The  present  Dey,  however,  pre- 
serves a  spiritual  authority  over  the  otlier  kings  and  caboceers,  and  is  esteemed  as  the 
superior  fetisii  man ;  wlien  they  desire  rain,  for  instance,  they  apply  to  him  to  procure  it, 
and  they  look  to  him  solely  for  their  chronology,  which  he  preserves  by  knotting  strings. 
Mankasim  then  became  the  capital  and  largest  town  of  Fantee,  but  it  was  almost 
destroyed  by  the  Ashantees  in  their  first  invasion  of  I8O7.  Any  Fantee  caboceer  who 
did  not  attend  the  summons  of  the  King  of  Mankasim,  was  suspended  by  him,  and  after- 


HISTORY.  251 

waids  displaced  by  the  diet.  Adoo,  the  last  King  of  the  BrafFoos,  despoiling  all  his  sub- 
jects of  their  most  valuable  property,  and  countenancing  the  individuals  of  his  family  in 
the  same  assumption  and  violation,  without  any  regard  to  persons ;  they  were  all  seized, 
on  his  death,  by  a  simultaneous  rising  of  the  people,  and  sold  off  the  coast  as  slaves,  to 
get  rid  of  the  race.  Adookoo,  one  of  the  leading  men,  was  then  called  to  the  care  of  the 
stool,  with  the  title  of  caboceer  only,  it  being  still  considered  as  an  interregnum,  but  he 
exercised  the  same  supremacy  and  privileges  which  the  King  had  done,  and  was  acknow- 
ledged by  the  whole  country.  During  his  retreat  and  wanderings  in  the  bush,  after 
several  defeats  by  the  Ashantees,  the  Fantee  towns  have  assumed  many  political  and 
judicial  rights  before  centered  in  Mankasim ;  but  Adookoo  is  now  expected  to  summon 
them  all,  and  re-establish  the  ancient  order  of  things,  which  they  deem  too  sacred  to  think 
of  resisting.  It  was  not  the  BrafFoos,  or  the  whole  people  of  that  district,  who  had  the 
privilege  of  living  abroad  at  the  public  expense,  and  who  took  whatever  they  pleased  of 
the  property  of  others,  as  Mr.  Meredith  has  stated  ;  but  the  state  officers  of  that  district 
called  Brofoos,  who  acquired  that  name  from  the  hide  in  which  the  tobacco  is  rolled, 
being  formed  into  a  seat  peculiar  to  them,  never  using  a  wooden  stool.  They  were  the 
executors,  and  not  the  organs  of  the  law,  and  always  sat  to  the  right  and  left  of  Adookoo, 
but  had  no  voice.  The  number  was  twelve,  and  the  dignity  immemorially  hereditary  in 
as  many  families.  These  men  were  allowed  to  take  whatever  they  pleased  at  home  and 
abroad,  but  since  Adookoo''s  misfortunes,  and  inability  to  support  them,  they  have  been 
content  to  beg  for  their  tithes  in  the  large  towns,  and  only  exercise  their  rapacity  in  the 
small  crooms  of  their  own  district. 


252  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 


CHAPTER    HI 


Constitution  and  Laws. 


1  HE  King,  the  Aristocracy,  now  reduced  to  four,  and  the  As- 
sembly of  Captains,*  are  the  three  estates  of  the  Ashantee 
government. 

The  constitution  requires  or  admits  an  interference  of  the  Aris- 
tocracy in  all  foreign  politics,  extending  even  to  a  veto  on  the 
King's  decision ;  but  they  watch  rather  than  share  the  domestic 
administration,  generally  influencing  it  by  their  opinion,  but  never 
appearing  to  control  it  from  authority ;  and  their  opinions  on 
civil  questions,  are  submitted  with  a  deference,  directly  in  contrast 
to  their  bold  declarations  on  subjects  of  war  or  tribute,  which 
amount  to  injunction. 

The  Ashantees  advocated  this  constitution  by  the  argument,  that 
the  interference  of  the  Aristocracy  in  all  foreign  politics,  makes 
the  nation  more  formidable  to  its  enemies,  who  feel  they  cannot 
provoke  with  impunity,  wjiere  there  are  so  many  guardians  of  the 
military  glory  ;  who,  by  insisting  on  a  war,  become  responsible  in 
a  great  degree  for  the  issue,  and  pledge  an  energy  and  exertion,  in 

*  It  has  been  shewn  in  the  history,  that  the  Aristocracy  was  originally  formed  of  the 
peers  and  associates  ot  Sai  Tootoo  the  founder  of  the  monarchy,  who  owed  his  elevation 
not  to  his  superior  rank,  but  to  his  superior  endowments  and  address.  The  Aristocracy 
lias  been  gradually  retrenched  since  Sai  Cudjo  pointed  out  the  way. 


CONSTITUTION  AND  LAWS.  253 

comparison  Avith  which,  such  as  could  be  excited  by  a  despotic 
monarch,  must  be  deemed  disinterested.  They  added,  that  an 
almost  independent  administration  of  the  King,  Avas  better  calcu- 
lated for  the  domestic  government,  because  the  decrees  of  a  monarch 
have  naturally  more  force  with  the  people,  (over  whom  his  power  is 
unlimited)  and,  further,  that  a  civil  power  in  the  Aristocracy  could 
not  be  reconciled  to  the  Assembly  of  Captains,  to  whom  the  former 
estate  was  already  sufficiently  invidious  for  the  health  of  the 
constitution. 

In  exercising  his  judical  authority,  the  King  always  retired  in 
private  with  the  Aristocracy  to  hear  their  opinions,  to  encourage 
their  candor  without  diminishing  his  majesty  in  the  eye  of  the 
people  ;  and  in  using  his  legislative  prerogative,  he  was  said  always 
to  give  them  a  private  opportunity  of  defending  the  old  law,  rather 
than  of  objecting  to  the  new ;  though,  from  the  same  state  policy, 
the  latter  was  announced  to  the  Aristocracy  as  well  as  to  the 
Assembly  of  Captains,  before  the  people,  as  the  swdden  and 
arbitrary  pleasure  of  the  King. 

The  general  Assembly  of  the  Caboceers  and  Captains,  is  sum- 
moned merely  to  give  publicity  to  the  will  of  the  King  and  Aristo- 
cracy, and  to  provide  for  its  observance  ;  unless  on  state  emergen- 
cies, or  unprecedented  occasions,  such  as  the  Treaty  Avith  the 
British  Government.  The  following  anecdote,  related  to  me  by 
many  Ashantees,  Avill  illustrate  the  freedom  of  their  constitution. 

A  son  of  the  King's  quarrelling  with  a  son  of  Amanquatea's, 
(one  of  the  four)  told  him,  that  in  com.parison  vvith  himself,  he  was 
the  son  of  a  slave ;  this  being  reported  to  Amanquate'a,  he  sent  a 
party  of  his  soldiers,  who  pulled  doAvn  the  house  of  the  King's  son 
and  seized  his  person.  The  King  hearing  of  it  sent  to  Amanquatea, 
and  learning  the  particulars,  interceded  for  his  son,  and  redeemed 
his  head  for  20  periguius  of  gold. 


254  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

The  most  original  feature  of  their  law,  that  of  succession,  has 
been  mentioned  in  the  History,  with  the  argument  on  wliich  it  is 
founded  :  it  is  universally  binding ;  the  course  is,  the  brother,  the 
sister's  son,  the  son,  the  chief  vassal  or  slave  to  the  stool.  In  the 
Fantee  country,  the  principal  slave  succeeds  to  the  exclusion  of  the 
son,  who  only  inherits  his  mother's  property,  frequently  consider- 
able, and  inherited  from  her  family  independently  of  her  husband: 
the  daughters  share  a  small  part  of  the  fetish  or  ornamental  gold, 
which  is  much  alloyed  with  silver. 

The  sisters  of  the  King  may  marry  or  intrigue  with  whom  the^^ 
please,  provided  he  be  an  eminently  strong  or  personable  man ; 
that  the  heirs  of  the  stool  may  be,  at  least,  personably  superior  to 
the  generality  of  their  countrymen.  .  rolqosi 

The  King  is  heir  to  the  gold  of  every  subject,  from  the  highest 
to  the  lowest ;  the  fetish  gold  and  the  cloths  are  generally  presented 
by  him  to  the  successor  to  the  stool,  from  which  the  slaves  and  other 
property  of  the  deceased  are  inseparable.  The  King  contributes 
to  the  funeral  custom  to  validate  his  claim,  and  usually  bestows  ten 
periguins  of  the  dust  gold  on  the  successor,  (if  of  a  rich  man,) 
who  is  in  all  cases  liable  for  the  debls  of  the  deceased,  though  the 
amount  is  generally  made  good  to  him  sooner  or  later,  if  he  has 
influence  Avith  those  about  the  King,  or  recommends  himself  to  his 
notice  personally.  This  law  is  sometimes  anticipated,  by  a  father 
presenting  his  children  with  large  sums  of  gold  just  before  his 
death.  Boiteem,  the  father  of  Otee,  one  of  the  King's  linguists, 
is  known  to  have  done  so,  but  the  son  discovers  his  wealth  very 
deliberately. 

The  gold  buried  with  members  of  the  royal  family,  and  after- 
wards deposited  with  their  bones  in  the  fetish  house  at  Bantama, 
is  sacred ;  and  cannot  be  used,  but  to  redeem  the  capital  trom  the 
hands  of  an  enemy,  or  in  extreme  national  distress ;  and  even  then. 


CONSTITUTION  AND  LAWS.  255 

the  King  must  aA^oid  the  sight  of  it,  if  he  would  avoid  the  fatal 
vengeance  of  the  fetish  or  deity. 

If  a  slave  seeks  refuge  from  an  ally  or  tributary,  he  is  restored  ; 
if  from  an  unconnected  power,  he  is  received  as  a  free  subject. 

TJie  tributary  state  which  distinguishes  itself  in  suppressing  the 
revolt  of  another,  is  rewarded  by  privileges  at  the  expense  of  the 
offending  power :  thus  if  a  subject  of  the  former  kills  a  subject  of 
the  latter,  the  price  of  a  slave  only  can  be  recovered,  instead  of  the 
fine  otherwise  attached  to  the  death  of  a  freeman ;  and  the  damages 
for  other  injuries  are  reduced  in  proportion. 

If  the  subjects  of  any  tributary  do  not  hke  the  decision  of  their 
ruler,  according  to  the  laws  of  their  own  country,  they  may  appeal 
to  the  King,  and  claim  decision  by  the  law  of  Ashantee.  The 
commission  allowed  to  the  collectors  of  tribute  or  fine,  is  two 
periguins  out  of  ten. 

The  direct  descendants  of  the  noble  families  who  assisted  the 
enterprise  of  Sai  Tootoo,  the  founder  of  the  kingdom,  are  not  sub- 
ject to  capital  punishment,  but  can  only  be  despoiled.  There  are 
now  but  four  remaining,  Ananqui,  Assafee,  (see  Diary,)  and  two 
others,  all  beggars. 

We  were  present  at  the  promulgation  of  the  following  law  : 
"  All  persons  sent  on  the  King's  business  shall  no  longer  seize 
provisions  in  any  country,  whether  tributary  or  otherwise,  in  his 
name ;  but  requiring  food,  shall  ofter  a  fair  price  for  the  first  they 
meet  with,  if  this  is  refused,  they  shall  then  demand  one  meal,  and 
one  meal  only,  in  the  King's  name,  and  proceed.  This  extends  to 
all  messengers  sent  by  the  head  captains,  whose  servants,  as  well 
as  the  King's,  have  been  long  in  the  habit  of  extorting  goods  from 
traders,  and  tobacco  and  provisions  in  the  market  place,  in  the 
names  of  their  masters,  which  they  shall  do  no  longer  without  in- 
curring the  same  penalty  which  is  attached  to  the  former  part  of 


256  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

this  law,  1 10  penguins."  The  form  of  making  this  law,  was,  the 
linguists  with  their  insignia  advanced  and  announced  it  to  each  of 
the  four  members  of  the  Aristocrac}',  then  to  the  whole  assembly ; 
afterwards  Cudjo  Appani,  the  chief  crier,  proclaimed  it  to  the 
people,  who  shouted  their  thanks ;  his  fee  from  the  King  was  ten 
ackies,  from  the  people  twenty.  This  attachment  of  the  penalty  to 
the  law  (the  chief  merit  of  Zaleucus)  manifests  some  advancement 
in  polity,  in  securing  the  accused  against  arbitary  judgment.* 

The  caboceers  of  Soota,  Marmpon,  Becqua,  and  Kokofoo,  the 
four  large  towns  built  by  the  Ashantees  at  the  same  time  with 
Coomassie,  have  several  palatine  privileges  ;  they  have  an  inde- 
pendent treasury,  though  subject  to  the  demands  of  the  government 
and  a  judicial  power,  with  the  reserve  of  an  appeal  to  the  King. 
They  celebrate  their  own  yam  custom  after  they  have  attended 
that  at  Coomassie,  at  which  all  dependents  and  tributaries  must  be 
present,  and  which  seems  to  have  been  instituted  like  the  Pana- 
thenaea  of  Theseus,  to  unite  such  various  nations  by  a  common 
festival.  These  four  caboceers,  «nly,  are  allowed,  with  the  King, 
to  stud  their  sandals  Avith  gold. 

The  blood  of  the  son  of  a  King,  or  of  any  of  the  ro^^al  family 
cannot  be  shed  ;  but  when  guilty  of  a  crime  of  magnitude,  they  are 
drowned  in  the  river  Dah,  by  a  particular  captain,  named  Cudjo 
Samfani. 

If  a  man  swears  on  the  King's  head,  that  another  must  kill  him, 
which  is  understood  to  be  invoking  the  King's  death  if  he  does 
not,  the  other  man  must  do  so,  or  forfeit  the  whole  of  his  property, 
and  generally  his  life.    This  very  frequently  occurs,  for  the  blacks 

*  By  the  laws  of  Ahanta,  which  are  peculiar,  if  any  subject  or  sojourner  is  in  urgent 
■want  of  provisions,  he  may  seize  the  first  he  meets  with,  paying  the  owner  the  prices 
which  have  been  fixed  by  the  caboceers :  this  is  similar  to  the  law  of  Lycurgus.  At  the 
Contoom  or  annual  Harvest  Custom,  the  Ahantas  revise  their  laws,  as  Solon  enjoined  the 
Athenians  to  do,  annulling  some  and  adding  others. 


CONSTITUTION  AND  LAWS.  257 

in  their  ardor  for  revenge,  do  not  regard  sacrificing  their  own  lives 
to  bring  a  palaver  on  their  murderer,  which  their  families  are  sure 
to  do. 

To  be  convicted  of  cowardice  is  death. 

A  subject  may  clear  any  part  of  the  bush  for  building  a  croom, 
or  making  a  plantation,  without  paying  any  thing  to  the  King  as 
lord  of  the  soil ;  but  he  must  pay  a  small  sum  to  the  possessor  of 
the  nearest  croom  or  plantation,  through  which  his  path  runs. 

The  government  has  no  power  to  direct  the  traders  to  any  par- 
ticular market,  though  it  interdicts  the  commerce  with  any  power 
which  may  have  offended  it. 

All  the  King's  linguists  take  fetish  to  be  true  to  each  other,  and 
to  report  faithfully. 

If  any  subject  picks  up  gold  dropped  in  the  market  place,  it  is 
death,  being  collected  only  by  order  of  the  government  on  emer- 
gencies ;  see  Revenue. 

Theft  of  the  King's  property,  or  intrigue  with  the  female  atten- 
dants of  the  royal  family,  or  habitual  incontinence,  is  punished  by 
emasculation  ;  but  crim.  con.  with  the  wife  of  a  man  who  has  been 
so  punished,  is  death :  being  considered  an  aggravated  contempt 
of  law. 

Interest  of  money  is  33^  per  cent,  for  every  forty  days,  which  is 
accompanied  after  the  first  period  by  a  dash  of  liquor.  When  the 
patience  of  the  creditor  is  exhausted,  he  seizes  the  debtor,  or  even 
any  of  his  family,  as  slaves,  and  they  can  only  be  redeemed  by  the 
payment.    This  barbarous  law  was  nearly  the  same  in  Athens.* 

In  almost  all  charges  of  treason,  the  hfe  of  the  accuser  is  at  risk 
as  well  as  that  of  the  accused,  and  is  forfeited  on  the  acquittal  of 

*  In  Ahanta,  all  old  debts  must  be  paid  within  six  weeks  from  the  commencement  of 
the  Contoom  or  Harvest  Custom.  The  creditor  can  panyar  or  seize  not  only  the  family, 
but  the  townsmen  of  the  debtor. 

lI 


258  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

the  latter.  I  understood  this,  from  the  best  authorities,  to  be  in- 
dispensible  as  a  check  on  the  palavers  ;  envy,  spleen,  or  covetous- 
ness  would  otherwise  accumulate. 

The  accuser  is  never  discovered  or  confronted  to  the  accused, 
nor  the  evidence  revealed,  until  the  latter  has  fully  replied  to  the 
charge,  as  outlined  by  the  King's  linguists. 

Palavers  are  frequently  allowed  to  sleep  even  for  years,  as  in  the 
Fantee  country,  to  make  the  damages  sued  for,  the  heavier :  for 
instance,  if  a  man  stole  a  hen  twelve  months  before,  the  value  of 
the  broods  and  eggs  it  would  have  produced, -on  a  fair  average,  in 
the  interval,  would  be  shrewdly  calculated,  and  sued  for.*  State 
palavers  are  also  allowed  to  sleep  for  years,  but  that  is  to  impose 
the  confidence  on  the  accused  that  the  principal  witnesses  are 
dead,  and  the  impression  is  artfully  assisted  by  the  pohcy  of  the 
council.  The  witnesses  against  Appia  Nanu,  who  had  reported 
his  haughty  message  to  the  King,  had  not  been  seen  for  nearly 
twelve  months  before  they  burst  before  him  on  the  day  of  his  trial, 
having  been  sent  into  the  bush  on  the  most  distant  frontier. 

No  man  is  punished  for  killing  his  own  slave,  but  he  is  for  the 
murder  of  his  wife  or  child.-f  If  he  kills  the  slave  of  another,  he 
must  pay  the  value.  If  a  great  man  kills  his  equal  in  rank,  he  is 
generally  allowed  to  die  by  his  own  hands  :  the  death  of  an  inferior 
is  generally  compensated  by  a  fine  to  the  family,  equal  to  seven 
slaves.;}: 

*  The  Alianta  laws  do  not  allow  of  these  protracted  pala\ers,  and  only  award  the  m- 
trinsic  value  of  the  articles  stolen  or  destroyed.  If  a  man  robs  a  plantation  of  a  yam,  he 
must  pay  the  owner  a  tokoo  of  gold,  and  take  two  more.  In  Fantee  the  pettiest  theft 
frequently  entails  slavery. 

-|-  In  the  kingdom  of  Amanahea  or  Apollonia,  the  tenth  child  is  always  buried  alive. 

J  A  person  accidentally  kilhng  another  in  Ahanta,  pays  5  oz.  of  gold  to  the  family, 
and  defrays  the  burial  customs.  In  the  case  of  murder,  it  is  20  oz.  of  gold  and  a  slave ; 
or,  he  and  his  family  become  the  slaves  of  the  family  of  the  deceased.     If  a  man  dashes 


CONSTITUTION  AND  LAWS.  259 

If  a  person  brings  a  frivolous  palaver  against  another,  he  must 
give  an  entertainment  to  the  family  and  friends  of  the  acquitted. 

If  an  aggry  bead  is  broken  in  a  scuffle,  seven  slaves  are  to  be 
paid  to  the  owner. 

Trifling  thefts  are  generally  punished  by  the  exposure  of  the 
party  in  various  parts  of  the  town,  whilst  the  act  is  published ;  but 
more  serious  thefts  cannot  be  visited  on  the  guilty  by  any  but  his 
family,  Avho  are  bound  to  compensate  the  accuser,  and  punish 
their  relative  or  not  as  they  think  fit ;  they  may  even  put  him  or 
her  to  death,  if  the  injury  is  serious,  or  the  crime  repeated  or 
habitual. 

If  a  man  cohabits  with  a  woman  without  the  house,  or  in  the 
bush,  they  are  both  the  slaves  of  the  first  person  who  discovers 
them  ;  but  redeemable  by  their  families. 

It  is  forbidden,  as  it  was  by  Lycurgus,  to  praise  the  beauty  of 
another  man's  wife,  being  intrigue  by  implication. 

A  captain  generally  gives  a  periguin  to  the  family  on  taking  a 
wife,  a  poor  man  two  ackies :  the  damages  for  intrigue  in  the 
former  case  are  ten  periguins ;  in  the  latter,  one  ackie  and  a  half, 
and  a  pot  of  palm  wine. 

himself  to  the  fetish  on  the  head  of  another,  the  other  must  redeem  liim.  If  a  man  kills 
himself  on  the  head  of  another,  the  other  must  kill  himself  also,  or  pay  20  oz.  to  the 
family :  in  Fantee  the  sum  is  indefinitely  great :  this  is  frequently  resorted  to,  when  there 
is  no  other  prospect  of  revenge. 

Aduraissa,  an  extraordinarily  beautiful  red  skinned  woman  of  Cape  Coast,  possessed 
numerous  admirers,  but  rejected  them  all.  One  of  them,  in  despair,  shot  himself  on  her 
head  close  to  her  house.  The  family  demanding  satisfaction ;  to  save  her  relations  from 
a  ruinous  palaver,  she  resolved  to  shoot  herself  in  expiation.  She  accordingly  assembled 
her  friends  and  relatives  from  various  parts  of  the  country,  and  sitting,  richly  dressed, 
killed  herself  in  their  presence  with  golden  bullets.  After  the  body  had  been  exposed  in 
state,  it  was  buried  with  a  profusion  of  cloths  and  gold.  The  beautiful  Adumissa  is  still 
eulogised,  and  her  favourite  patterned  cloth  bears  her  name  amongst  the  natives. 


260  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

If  a  woman  involves  herself  in  a  palaver,  she  involves  her  family, 
but  not  her  husband. 

None  but  a  captain  can  sell  his  wife,  and  he,  only,  if  her  family 
are  unable  to  redeem  her  by  the  repayment  of  the  marriage  fee. 

The  property  of  the  wife  is  distinct,  and  independent  of  the 
husband,  though  the  King  is  the  heir  to  it. 

None  but  a  captain  can  put  his  wife  to  death  for  infidelity,  and 
even  then  he  is  expected  to  accept  a  liberal  offer  of  gold  from  the 
family,  for  her  redemption.  To  intrigue  with  a  wife  of  the  King's 
is  death. 

If  the  family  of  a  woman  are  able  and  willing,  on  her  report  of 
her  dislike  to  her  husband,  or  his  ill-treatment  of  her,  to  tender 
him  the  marriage  fee,  he  must  accept  it,  and  the  woman  returns  to 
her  family,  but  may  not  marry  again. 

If  a  husband  is  not  heard  of  by  his  wife  for  three  years,  she 
may  marry  again,  and  if  the  first  husband  returns,  the  claim  of  the 
second  is  the  better ;  but  all  the  children  of  the  after  marriage  are 
considered  the  property  of  the  first  husband,  and  may  be  pawned 
by  him. 

Those  accused  of  witchcraft,  or  having  a  devil,  are  tortured  to 
death. 

The  good  treatment  of  slaves  is  in  some  degree  provided  for,  by 
the  liberty  they  have  of  dashing  or  transferring  themselves  to  any 
freeman ;  whom  they  enjoin  to  make  them  his  property  by  invoking 
his  death  if  he  does  not ;  an  imperative  appeal. 


SUPERSTITIONS.  261 


CHAPTER  IV. 


Superstitions. 

1  H  E  Negro  tradition  of  the  book  and  the  calabash,  cited  by  St. 
Pierre,  is  familiar  to  every  native  of  these  parts,  and  seems  the 
source  of  their  religious  opinions.  Impressed  that  the  blind  avarice 
of  their  forefathers  inclined  all  the  favour  of  the  supreme  God  to 
white  men,  they  believe  themselves  to  have  been  committed  to  the 
mediating  care  of  subordinate  deities,  necessarily  as  inferior  to  the 
primary,  as  they  are  to  Europeans. 

As  the  Ashantee  manner  of  relating  this  tradition  differs  a 
Utile  from  that  of  the  Fantee,  I  will  repeat  it,  on  the  authority  of 
Odumata  and  other  principal  men.  In  the  beginning  of  the  world, 
God  created  three  white  and  three  black  men,  with  the  same 
number  of  women  ;  he  resolved,  that  they  might  not  afterwards 
complain,  to  give  them  their  choice  of  good  and  evil.  A  large  box 
or  calabash  was  set  on  the  ground,  with  a  piece  of  paper,  sealed 
up,  on  one  side  of  it.  God  gave  the  black  men  the  first  choice, 
who  took  the  box,  expecting  it  contained  every  thing,  but,  on 
opening  it,  there  appeared  only  a  piece  of  gold,  a  piece  of  iron, 
and  several  other  metals,  of  which  they  did  not  know  the  use.  The 
white  men  opening  the  paper,  it  told  them  every  thing.  God  left 
the  blacks  in  the  bush,  but  conducted  the  whites  to  the  water  side, 
(for  this  happened  in  Africa)  communicated  with  them  every  night, 
and  taught  them  to  build  a  small  ship  which  carried  them  to 


262  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

another  country,  whence  they  returned  after  a  long  period,  with 
various  merchandise  to  barter  with  the  blacks,  who  might  have 
been  the  superior  people. 

With  this  imaginary  alienation  from  the  God  of  the  universe,  not 
a  shade  of  despondency  is  associated ;  they  consider  that  it  dimi- 
nishes their  comforts  and  their  endowments  on  earth,  but  that 
futurity  is  a  dull  and  torpid  state  to  the  majority  of  mankind. 

Their  fetishes  or  subordinate  deities,  are  supposed  to  inhabit 
particular  rivers,  woods,  and  mountains,  as  the  imaginary  deities 
of  the  Celts.  They  are  venerated  in  proportion  as  their  predic- 
tions (always  equivocal)  chance  to  be  realized.  The  present 
favourite  fetish  of  Ashantee  is  that  of  the  river  Tando.  Cobee,  a 
river  in  Dankara,  and  Odentee  on  the  Adirree,  are  two  of  the 
others. 

The  kings,  caboceers,  and  the  higher  class,  are  believed  to 
d\vell  with  the  superior  Deity  after  death,  enjoying  an  eternal 
renewal  of  the  state  and  luxury  they  possessed  on  earth.  It  is  with 
this  impression,  that  they  kill  a  certain  number  of  both  sexes  at  the 
funeral  customs,  to  accompany  the  deceased,  to  announce  bis 
distinction,  and  to  administer  to  his  pleasures. 

The  spirits  of  the  inferior  classes  are  believed  to  inhabit  the 
houses  of  the  fetish,  in  a  state  of  torpid  indolence,  which  recom- 
penses them  for  the  drudgery  of  their  lives,  and  which  is  truly 
congenial  to  the  feelings  of  the  Negro.  Those  of  superior  wisdom 
and  experience,  are  said  to  be  endued  with  foresight  after  death, 
and  to  be  appointed  to  observe  the  lives,  and  advise  the  good  of 
those  mortals  who  acknowledge  the  fetish;  their  state  correspond- 
ing, in  short,  with  that  of  the  first  race  of  men  after  death,  as 
described  by  Hesiod.  Those  whose  enormities  nullify  the  media- 
tion of  the  funeral  custom,  or,  whom  neglect  or  circumstainces 
might  have  depri\ed  of  it,  are  doomed,  in  the  imagination  of  otihers, 


SUPERSTITIONS.  26-3 

to  haunt  the  gloom  of  the  forest,  steaHng  occasionally  to  their 
former  abodes  in  rare  but  lingering  visits.  Those  who  have  ne- 
glected the  custom,  or  funeral  rites  of  their  family,  are  thought  to 
be  accursed  and  troubled  by  their  spirits. 

There  are  two  orders  of  fetishmen.  The  first  class  dwell  with 
the  fetish,*  who  has  a  small  round  house,  built  generally  at  a 
distance  from  the  town.  They  question  the  oracle  respecting  the 
future  fortune  of  a  state  or  an  individual,  convey  its  advice,  and 
enjoin  the  attention  of  the  audible  spirits  of  those,  any  member  of 
their  family  would  question  respecting  property  or  domestic 
circumstances  : 

"  Auditur  tumulo  et  vox  reddita  fertur  ad  aures."  ^n.  vi. 

The  inferior  class  pursue  their  various  occupations  in  society, 
assist  in  customs  and  superstitious  ceremonies,  and  are  applied  to 
as  fortune  tellers  or  conjurors  are  in  Europe ;  especially  in  cases 
of  theft;  when,  from  a  secret  system  of  espionage,  and  a  reluctance, 
frequently  amounting  to  a  refusal  to  discover  the  culprit,  or  to  do 

*  At  Nanampong  (Nanan  means  a  grand-father)  near  Mankasim,  in  the  BraiFoo 
country,  there  is  a  deep  dell,  inhabited  by  a  number  of  aged  fetish  men,  whom  the 
Fantees  believe  to  be  immortal,  and  to  have  lived  there  beyond  all  memory,  in  close  con- 
verse with  the  fetish,  and  ignorant  of  the  world  but  by  intuition.  The  spirits  of  the  aged 
and  wise  are  believed  to  dwell  amongst  them,  and  their  prophecies  and  advice  are 
revered  as  emanations  from  the  fetish.  Adookoo,  the  chief  of  the  Braffoos,  used  some- 
times to  consult  them  in  person,  but  generally  through  his  head  fetishman,  and  the 
Fantees  now  attribute  the  successes  of  the  Ashantees,  and  their  own  defeats  and  misfor- 
tunes, to  the  disregard  of  what  the  oracle  enjoined ;  for,  whilst  it  was  obeyed,  they  say 
the  country  always  prospered ;  and,  indeed,  from  the  instances  which  have  been  reported 
to  me,  the  responses  appear  to  have  directed  a  just  and  prudent  policy,  highly  conducive 
to  the  welfare  of  Fantee.  This  dell  is  so  impervious,  and  yet  so  capacious,  that  many 
hundred  Fantees  were  secreted  there,  during  the  Ashantee  invasions,  which  these  priests 
had  predicted.  The  house  or  temple  of  the  principal  fetish  of  the  Ahanta  country,  called 
Checquoo,  is  at  Apremmadoo,  about  four  miles  up  theTakaradee  river :  upwards  of  fifty 
superior  priests  are  resident  there. 


264  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

more  than  replace  the  property  whence  it  was  taken,  they  are 
generally  successful.  The  magical  ceremony  consists  in  knotting, 
confusing,  and  dividing  behind  the  back,  several  strings  and  shreds 
of  leather.  They  are  also  frequently  applied  to  by  shppery  wives, 
to  work  charms  to  keep  their  husbands  in  ignorance  of  a  projected 
intrigue,  which  they  affect  to  do. 

The  primary  dignity  is  hereditary  in  families,  as  the  priesthood 
was  in  Egypt,  ceUbacy  not  being  enjoined  ;  their  property  is  also 
hereditary,  and  they  possess  other  immunities.  The  latter  order  is 
frequently  augmented  by  those,  who  declare  that  the  fetish  has 
suddenly  seized,  or  come  upon  them,  and  who,  after  inflicting 
great  severities  on  themselves,  in  the  manner  of  the  convulsionists, 
are  ultimately  acknowledged.  The  fetish  women,  generally  pre- 
ferred for  medical  aid,  as  they  possess  a  thorough  knowledge  of 
barks  and  herbs,  deleterious  and  sanative,  closely  resemble  the 
second  class  of  Druidesses  as  described,  I  think  by  Mela :  they 
seem  licensed  prostitutes,  before  and  after  marriage. 

The  present  state  of  these  people  referring  them  to  a  comparison 
with  the  nations  of  ancient  Europe,*  the  close  resemblance  of 
many  points  of  their  superstition  to  relative  particulars  recorded  of 
Greece  and  Gaul,  recalls  the  following  reflection  of  an  eminent 
writer.  "  The  truth  is,  there  is  hardly  any  thing  more  surprising 
in  the  history  of  mankind,  than  the  similitude,  or  rather  identity, 
of  the  opinions,  institutions,  and  manners  of  all  these  orders  of 
ancient  priests,  though  they  lived  under  such  different  climates, 
and  at  so  great  a  distance  from  one  another,  without  inter- 
course or  communication.     This  amounts  to  a  demonstration,  that 

*  "  And  here  I  cannot  but  remark,  that  those  accounts,  when  compared,  shew  how 
httle  manners  and  minds  improve  in  Africa,  and  how  long,  and  how  much  society  has 
been  there  at  a  stand ; — Jobson  saw,  in  1620,  exactly  what  Park  saw  in  1  798."  Sir  W. 
Young. 


SUPERSTITIONS.  265 

all  these  opinions  and  institutions  flowed  originally  from  one 
fountain." 

Half  the  offerings  to  the  fetish,  are  pretended  to  be  thrown  into 
the  river,  the  other  half  belongs  to  the  priests.  The  King's  offering 
is  generally  ten  ounces,  and  three  or  four  slaves  :  that  of  a  poor  sub- 
ject about  four  ackies.  Children  are  frequently  vowed  to  the  service 
of  the  fetish  before  their  birth.  A  slave  flying  to  the  temple,  may 
dash  or  devote  himself  to  the  fetish  ;  but,  by  paying  a  fee  of  two 
ounces  of  gold  and  four  sheep,  any  person  shuts  the  door  of  the 
fetish  house  against  all  his  run  away  slaves.* 

Every  family  has  a  variety  of  domestic  fetishes,  furnished  by  the 
priests,  and  answering  to  the  Penates  of  the  Romans ;  some  are 
wooden  figures,  others  of  arbitrary  shapes  and  materials  ;  they 
receive  offerings  and  libations  at  the  yam  custom,  but  are  not 
brought  out  of  the  house,  f- 

*  A  slave  dashing  or  devoting  himself  to  Checquoo,  the  great  fetish  of  Ahanta,  is 
never  redeemed  ;  the  impression  of  the  superior  power  of  that  fetish  being  so  a^vfnl,  that 
the  proprietor  of  the  slave,  would  believe  the  death  of  all  his  family  inevitable,  were  he 
to  redeem  him  from  the  sanctuary. 

■f  The  different  states  of  the  water  side  revere  different  animals  as  fetish  :  the  hyaena 
is  esteemed  so  at  Accra,  the  alligator  at  Dix  Cove  and  Annamaboe,  and  vultures  univer- 
sally ;  and  with  more  apparent  reason,  as  they  consun)e  all  the  offal  of  the  neighbourhood, 
and  thus  contribute  to  its  health  and  cleanliness.  A  black  man  killing  a  hyaena  at  Accra, 
would  incur  a  serious  penalty.  A  European  is  obliged  to  pay  a  case  of  neat  rum  and 
one  piece  of  white  baft,  in  which  the  head  of  the  animal  is  wrapped,  and  afterwards  buried 
by  the  natives.  Almost  every  resident  on  the  coast,  can  speak  to  the  imitative  powers  of 
the  hysena,  which  Pliny  has  been  ridiculed  for  reporting.  In  a  fresh  water  pond  at  Dix 
Cove,  there  is  an  alligator,  about  twelve  feet  long,  which  always  appears  on  the  bank,  at 
the  call  of  the  fetish  men,  who  (hen  throw  it  a  white  fowl.  In  a  modern  natural  history, 
I  read,  "  in  this  part  of  the  world  (Africa)  also,  as  well  as  at  Siam,  the  crocodile  makes 
an  object  of  savage  pomp,  near  the  palaces  of  their  monarchs.  Philips  informs  us,  that 
at  Sabi,  on  the  slave  coast,  there  are  two  pools  of  water  near  the  royal  palace,  where  cro- 
codiles are  bred  as  we  breed  carp  in  our  ponds  in  Europe."     I  never  heard  of  any  royal 

M  m 


266  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

In  Ashantee  there  is  not  a  common  fetish  day,  as  on  the  coast.* 
Different  famihes  solemnize  different  days  of  the  week,  by  wearing 
white  cloths,  abstaining  from  palm  wine  and  labour,  as  they  do 
the  day  of  the  week  on  which  they  were  born,  which  is  in  fact  their 
second  fetish  day.  The  King's  family  keep  Tuesday  as  their  fetish 
da^^  Odumata's,  Friday.  Saturday  was  the  King's  birth  day, 
when,  as  well  as  on  his  fetish  day,  he  alwaj's  sat  on  a  stool  placed 
before  his  chair  as  a  foot  stool  would  be.  Some  families  never  eat 
beef,  others  abstain  from  pork.  Fowls  and  beef  are  the  fetish  of 
the  King's  family,  and  consequently  never  eaten  by  it. 

The  Ashantees  have  their  Fasti  and  Nefasti,  or  lucky  and  un- 
lucky days,  as  the  Romans  had.-f-  The  former  consecrated  by 
some  good  fortune,  the  latter  condemned  from  some  national 
calamity,  as  Saturday,  for  instance,  from  the  defeat  and  death  of 
Sai  Tootoo.  They  are  also  otherwise  marked  than  by  the  week ; 
for  I  was  told,  that  our  month  of  September  contained  fewer  bad 
days  than  any  other,  and  was  besides  deemed  auspicious  to 
travelling  : 

Ipsa  dies  alios  alio  dedit  ordine  Luna 

Felices  operum     -     -     -     _ 

-     -     -     -     nona  fugse  melior.  Geor.  i, 

I  have  known  Ashantees  thirty  days  coming  with  dispatches  from 
Cape  Coast  Castle  to  Coomassie,  in  August ;  and  in  September,  to 
have  arrived  in  twelve. 

If  the  successor  to  a  stool,  or  any  rich  inheritance  is  a  child, 
they  grind  aggry  beads  into  a  powder,  and  rub  him  with  it  daily, 

palaces,  or  of  Sabi  (probably  Assaboo)  on  the  Slave  Coast ;  the  alligator  of  Dix  Cove 

may  possibly  be  alluded  to. 

*  Tuesday  is  the  common  fetish  day  on  the  coast,  when  tliey  neither  fish  or  work  in 

theii'  plantations. 

■f  Ille  et  nefasto  te  posuit  die.         Hor.  12,  13. 

Romani  pariter  quosdaiii  atros  et  nefastos  liabuere,  eo  quod  in  iis  clades  acceperant ;  -  -  • 


SUPERSTITIONS.  267 

after  washing,  believing  that  it  hastens  his  growth  and  matnrity. 
When  any  one  denies  a  theft,  an  aggry  bead  is  placed  in  a  small 
vessel,  with  some  water,  the  person  holding  it  puts  his  right  foot 
against  the  right  foot  of  the  accused,  who  invokes  the  power  of  the 
bead  to  kill  hi  in  if  he  is  guilty,  and  then  takes  it  into  his  mouth 
with  a  little  of  the  water,  the  rest  being  thrown  on  the  ground,  and 
crossed  as  he  repeats  the  invocation  :  their  superstition  is  generally 
superior  to  their  resolution.  I  shall  be  expected  to  notice  these 
aggry  beads. 

The  natives  invariably  declare  that  the  aggry  beads  are  found  in 
the  Dankara,  Akini,  Warsaw,  Ahanta,  and'  Fantee  countries,  the 
greater  number  in  the  former,  being  the  richer  in  gold  ;  they  say 
they  are  directed  to  dig  for  them  by  a  spiral  vapour  issuing  from 
the  ground,  and  that  they  rarely  lay  near  the  surface:  the  finder 
is  said  to  be  sure  of  a  series  of  good  fortune.  The  plain  aggry 
beads  are  blue,  yellow,  green,  or  a  dull  red,  the  variegated  consist 
of  every  colour  and  shade.  The  Fantees  prefer  the  plain  yellow 
bead,  the  Amanahe'ans  the  blue  and  yellow,  for  which  they  will 
give  double  the  weight  in  gold;  those  of  inferior  beauty  frequently 
fetch  a  large  price,  from  having  been  worn  by  some  royal  or 
eminent  character.  Dr,  Leyden,  who  writes,  "  the  aigris  is  a  stone 
of  a  greenish  blue  colour,  supposed  to  be  a  species  of  jasper,  small 
perforated  pieces  of  which,  valued  at  their  weight  in  gold,  are  used 
for  money,"  (M'hich  I  never  heard  of,)  rather  describes  the  popo 
bead ;  though  that  is  semi-transparent,  (of  a  bright  blue,)  re- 
sembling carnelian,  (which  is  frequently  found  in  these  countries) 
and  said  to  be  obtained  in  the  same  manner  as  the  aggry  bead. 
Isert  writes, "  they  are  a  sort  of  coral,  with  inlaid  work  :  the  art  of 
making  beads  is  entirely  lost,  or  was  never  known  in  these  parts  : 
it  is  not  improbable,  that  in  the  golden  age  of  Egypt,  she  had  com- 
munication with  the  Gold  Coast ;  indeed,  it  has  been  thought,  and 


268  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

perhaps  not  without  some  reason,  that  the  Gold  Coast  is  the  Ophir 
of  Solomon." 

The  variegated  strata  of  the  aggry  beads  are  so  firmly  united, 
and  so  imperceptibly  blended,  that  the  perfection  seems  superior 
to  art :  some  resemble  mosaic  work,  the  surfaces  of  others  are 
covered  with  flowers  and  regular  patterns,  so  very  minute,  and  the 
shades  so  delicately  softened  one  into  the  other,  and  into  the 
ground  of  the  bead,  that  nothing  but  the  finest  touch  of  the  pencil 
could  equal  them.  The  agatized  parts  disclose  flowers  and  patterns, 
deep  in  the  body  of  the  bead,  and  thin  shafts,  of  opaque  colours, 
running  from  the  centre  to  the  surface.  The  natives  pretend  that 
imitations  are  made  in  the  country,  which  they  call  boiled  beads, 
alleging  that  they  are  broken  aggry  beads  ground  into  powder. 
and  boiled  together,  and  that  they  know  them  because  they  are 
heavier ;  but  this  I  find  to  be  mere  conjecture  among  themselves, 
unsupported  by  any  thing  like  observation  or  discovery.  The 
natives  believe  that  by  burying  the  aggry  beads  in  sand  they  not 
only  grow  but  breed.* 

*  The  coloring  matter  of  the  blue  beads  has  been  proved,  by  experiment,  to  be  iron ; 
that  of  the  yellow,  without  doubt,  is  lead  and  antimony,  with  a  trifling  quantity  of 
copper,  though  not  essential  to  the  production  of  the  color.  Tlie  generality  of  these 
beads  appear  to  be  produced  from  clays  colored  in  thin  layers,  afterwards  twisted  toge- 
ther into  a  spiral  form,  and  then  cut  across :  also  from  different  colored  clays  raked 
together  without  blending.  How  the  flowers  and  delicate  patterns,  in  the  body  and  on 
the  surface  of  the  rarer  beads,  have  been  produced,  cannot  be  so  well  explained.  Besides 
the  suite  deposited  in  the  British  Museum,  I  had  the  pleasure  of  presenting  one  of  the 
most  interesting  kind  to  Baron  Humboldt ;  and  I  have  also  sent  one  to  Sir  Richard 
Hoare,  as  it  seemed  to  correspond  so  closely  with  the  bead  which  he  found  in  one  of  the 
barrows,  and  describes,  as  follows,  in  his  History  of  Wiltshire.  The  notion  of  the  rare 
virtues  of  the  Glain  Neidyr,  as  well  as  of  the  continued  good  fortune  of  the  finder, 
accords  exactly  with  the  African  superstitions.  "  A  large  glass  bead,  of  the  same  imper- 
fect petrefaction  as  the  puUy  bead.s,  and  resembling  also,  in  matter,  the  little  figures  that 
are  found  with  the  mummies  in  Egypt,  and  are  to  be  seen  in  tlie  Biitish  Museum.  Tliis 


SUPERSTITIONS.  269 

To  return  to  the  superstitions  of  the  Ashantees :    when  they 
drink,  they  spill  a  little  of  the  liquor  on  the  ground  as  an  offering 

very  curious  bead  lias  two  circular  lines  of  opaque  sky  blue  and  white,  which  seem  to 
represent  a  serpent  entwined  round  a  centre,  which  is  perforated.  This  was  certainly 
one  of  the  Glain  Neidyr  of  the  Britons,  derived  from  glain,  which  is  pure  and  holy,  and 
neidyr  a  snake.  Under  the  word  glain,  Mr.  Owen,  in  his  Welsh  Dictionary,  has  given 
the  following  article  :  "  The  Glain  neidyr,  transparent  stones,  or  adder  stones,  were 
worn  by  the  different  orders  of  the  bards,  each  having  its  appropriate  color.  There  is 
no  certainty  that  they  were  worn  from  superstition  originally  ;  perhaps  that  was  the 
circumstance  which  gave  rise  to  it.  Whatever  might  have  been  the  cause,  the  notion  of 
their  rare  virtues  zvas  universal  in  all  places  where  the  Bardic  religion  was  taught.  It 
may  still  be  questioned  whether  they  are  the  production  of  nature  or  art.""  The  beads 
which  are  the  present  object  of  my  attention,  are  thus  noticed  by  Bishop  Gibson  in  his 
improved  edition  of  Camden''s  Britannia.  "  In  most  parts  of  Wales,  and  throughout  all 
Scotland,  and  in  Cornwall,  we  find  it  a  common  opinion  of  the  vulgar,  that  about  Mid- 
summer eve  (although  in  the  time  they  do  not  all  agree,)  it  is  usual  for  snakes  to  meet 
in  companies ;  and  that  by  joining  heads  together,  and  hissing,  a  kind  of  bubble  is 
formed  like  a  ring,  about  the  head  of  one  of  them,  which  the  rest,  by  continual  hissing- 
blow  on  till  it  conies  off  at  the  tad ;  and  then  it  immediately  hardens,  and  resembles  a 
glass  ring,  ivhich  whoever  finds  (as  some  old  women  and  children  are  jKrsuaded)  shall 
prosper  in  all  their  undertaking's.  The  rings  which  they  suppose  to  be  thus  generated 
are  called  Gleinu  Nadroedh,  i.  e.  Gemmas  Anguinum,  whereof  I  have  seen  at  several 
places  about  twenty  or  thirty.  They  are  small  glass  annulets,  commonly  a1)ont  half  as 
wide  as  our  finger  rings,  but  much  thicker  ;  of  a  green  color,  usually,  though  some  of 
them  are  blue,  and  others  curiously  waved  with  blue,  red,  and  white.  I  have  also  seen 
two  or  three  earthen  rings  of  this  kind,  but  glazed  with  blue,  and  adorned  with  trans- 
verse streaks  in  furrows  on  the  outside.  There  seems  to  be  some  connection  between  the 
Glein  Neidyr  of  the  Britons,  and  the  Ovum  Anguinum  mentioned  by  Pliny,*  as  being 
held  in  veneration  by  the  Druids  of  Gaul,  and  to  the  formation  of  which  he  gives  nearly 
the  same  origin.     They  were  probably  worn  as  an  insigne,  or  mark  of  distinction,  and 


*  Praeterea  est  ovorum  genus  in  magna  Galliarum  fama,  omissum  Grajcis.  Angues 
innumeri  asstate  convoluti,  salivis  faucium,  corporUnique  spumis  artifici  complexu  glonie- 
rantur,  anguinum  appellantur.  Druida?  sibilis  id  dicunt  in  sublime  jactari,  sagoque 
oportere  intercipi  ne  tellureiif  attingat.  Profugeie  raptorem  equo.  Serpentes  enim 
insequi  donee  arceant  amnis  alicujus  interventu.  Experimentum  ejus  esse  si  contra  aquas 
fluitet  vel  auro  cinctum  Insigne  Druidis.  Ad  victorias  litium  ac  regum  aditus  maxima 
laudat.     Plinii  Hist.  Natural.  L.  29.  c,  3. 


270  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

to  ttie  fetish ;  and  on  rising  from  their  chairs  or  stools,  their  attend-    \ 
ants  instantly  lay  them  on  their  sides,  to  prevent  the  devil  (whom 
they  represent  to  be  white)  from  slipping  into  their  master's  places.     3 


suspended  around  the  neck,  as  the  perforation  is  not   sufficiently  large  to  admit  the 
finger." 

The  bead  engraved  in  Tumulus  No.  9,  resembles  closely  a  coarse  sort  of  bead,  still 
mannfactured  in  Syria,  brought  over  by  Dr.  iVieryon.  The  glass  globes  dug  up  in 
Lincolnshire,  and  presented  by  Sir  Joseph  Banks  to  the  British  Museum,  are  very  like 
a  distinct  sort  of  aggry  bead,  dug  by  the  natives  e\en  more  rarely  than  the  others,  but 
not  larger  than  a  moderate  sized  apple  :  they  are  more  opaque  than  the  other  beads,  and 
the  ground  or  body  is  generally  black,  speckled  confusedly  with  red,  white,  and  yellow. 

Aggry  is  the  generic,  not  the  abstract  name;  ^  awynnee''  is  head,  but  aggry  is  an 
exotic  word  no  native  can  explain.  When  first  I  heard  of  similar  beads  having  been 
lately  dug  in  India,  I  associated  for  an  instant  the  expectation  that  it  might  have  been  in 
the  neighbourhood  of  Agra,  and  thus  have  thrown  some  light  on  the  name ;  but  it 
appears  they  were  found  in  Malabar.  I  am  indebted  for  the  following  account  of  this 
interesting  discovery  to  a  gentleman  lately  returned  from  India.  "  The  bead  3'ou  sent 
nic  is  more  like  those  I  saw  in  India,  than  any  I  have  seen  before  ;  but  it  is  thicker 
and  shorter ;  neither  does  the  material  of  which  it  is  formed  exactly  agi'ee  with  those  in 
India,  which  appear  to  be  of  a  red  glass,  very  like  red  carnelian  (such,  however,  are 
frequent  among  the  Aggry  beads)  with  white  lines  of  enamel,  inlaid,  at  it  were,  in  the 
body  of  the  bead.  1  gave  these  to  a  friend  in  India,  who  promised  to  send  them  to  the 
Asiatic  Society  in  Calcutta.  The  circles  of  stone  in  which  these  beads  have  been  found, 
abound  most  in  Malabar,  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Calicut ;  but  I  have  seen  them  in 
other  parts  of  India,  and  I  am  of  opinion  that  they  might  be  traced  throughout  the  whole 
of  the  southern  peninsula.  They  are  formed  of  large  masses  of  rough  stones,  placed 
i-ound  in  irregular  circles,  some  of  very  large  extent,  some  of  smaller :  they  appear  so 
much  like  natural  rocks,  that  most  persons  would  pass  them  unobserved.  Several  of 
these  circles  about  three  years  since  were  excavated,  in  the  vicinity  of  Calicut,  and  in  the 
centre  of  each  of  them  we  found,  at  the  depth  of  about  five  feet,  a  large  earthen  jar  of 
the  same  shape  as  those  found  in  Wiltshire,  as  near  as  we  could  judge,  for  it  was  broken 
to  pieces  :  it  was  about  four  or  five  feet  deep,  its  mouth  in  general  closed  with  a  square 
piece  of  granite :  the  beads  were  found  at  the  bottom  of  these  jars  with  some  pieces  of 
iron,  apparently  parts  of  swords  and  spears.  There  was  an  iron  javelin  found  in  one  of 
these  places,  tolerably  perfect :  it  was  about  five  feet  long,  with  a  large  iron  knob  at  one 
end  of  it.    In  the  centre  of  one  of  the  circles  we  came  to  a  flight  of  seven  steps,  which  led 


SUPERSTITIONS.  271 

But  the  most  surprising  superstition  of*  tlie  Ashantees,  is  their 
confidence  in  the  fetishes  or  saphies  they  purchase  so  extravagantly 
from  the  Moors,  believing  firmly  that  they  make  them  invulnerable 
and  invincible  in  war,  paralyse  the  hand  of  the  enemy,  shiver  their 
weapons,  divert  the  course  of  balls,  render  both  sexes  prolific,  and 
avert  all  evils  but  sickness,  (which  they  can  only  assuage,)  and 
natural  death.  The  Kins;  gave  to  the  Kins  of  Dagwumba,  for  the 
fetish  or  war  coat  of  Apokoo,  the  value  of  thirty  slaves  ;  for  Odu- 
mata's,  twenty  ;  for  Adoo  Quamina's,  thirteen  ;  for  Akimpon's, 
twelve  ;  for  Akimpontea's,  nine  ;  and  for  those  of  greater  captains 
in  proportion.    The  generals  being  always  in  the  rear  of  the  arm}' 

to  a  cave  excavated  in  the  rock ;  it  measured  1 1  feet  in  diameter,  and  7  feet  in  its  highest 
part ;  the  entrance  to  it  was  a  square  opening  of  about  1 S  inches,  which  was  closed  up  by 
an  immense  block  of  granite.  We  found  in  this  place  a  great  number  of  earthen  pots  of 
very  curious  shape ;  in  one  of  these  there  were  the  remains  of  bones,  which  appeared  to 
have  been  but  imperfectly  calcined  ;  in  several  of  the  larger  jars  there  were  the  husks  of 
rice,  which  dropped  into  dust  immediately  they  were  opened.  We  found  here  also  an  iron 
tripod,  and  a  very  curious  stone,  somewhat  similar  to  what  the  Indians  now  use  for  grind- 
ing their  curry  powder  on.  The  large  stones  forming  the  circles  were  set  upright  and 
capped  with  still  larger  ones.  They  are  not  of  granite,  but  of  the  stone  of  the  country  in 
which  they  are  situated  ;  they  are  of  different  sizes;  I  have  seen  some  of  them  10  or  12 
feet  high,  and  the  large  stone  on  the  top  from  10  to  12  feet  in  diameter,  or  perhaps 
more.  Coirabatore  is  a  district  situated  between  the  Coromandel  and  Malabar  coasts ;  it 
is  bounded  on  the  east  by  the  river  Cavery,  on  the  banks  of  which  the  tumuli  are  in  general 
situated.  In  some,  a  few  silver  coins  have  been  found,  of  a  square  figure,  with  characters 
on  them,  which  none  of  the  most  learned  Bramins  have  been  as  yet  able  to  make  out ; 
it  is  in  these  also  that  remains  of  very  large  swords,  &c.  have  been  found.  The  Roman 
coins  to  the  number  of  upwards  of  90  were  all  of  gold,  and  Nero's ;  each  of  them  had  a 
cut  or  slit  in  it.  They  were  not  found  in  one  of  these  barrows,  but  were  discovered  in  a 
garden  by  one  of  the  natives  when  digging :  they  were  in  a  small  copper  pot.  Pandu 
Kiui  literally  means  Pandu 's  caves  or  holes.  Pandu  is  a  very  celebrated  personage  in 
the  Hindoo  Mythology,  and  a  great  warrior ;  it  is  common  in  India  to  ascribe  to  him  all 
great  works  of  antiquity ;  this  term  therefore  only  shews  that  those  places  are  very 
ancient,  and  that  the  present  inhabitants  are  quite  ignorant  of  their  origin. 


272  MISSION  TO  ASHA^JTEE. 

are  pretty  sure  to  escape,  a  circuiustance  much  in  favour  of  the 
Moors.  The  drawing  of  Adoo  Quamina  will  convey  the  best  idea 
of  this  dress,  which  has  been  described  before,  in  our  entree;  it  is 
so  weighty  that  old  Odumata  could  scarcely  move  in  his.  Janae- 
quin,  who  visited  Mandingo  in  1637,  describes  exactly  the  same 
sort  of  dress  as  worn  by  the  chiefs  of  that  country,  and  adds, 
"  their  bodies  are  so  encumbered  Avith  these  defences,  that  they 
are  often  unable  to  mount  on  horseback  without  assistance."  For 
a  small  fetish  of  about  six  lines,  sewn  in  a  case  of  red  cloth,  wl\ich 
the  King  presented  to  our  Accra  linguist,  Baba  charged  and  re- 
ceived six  ackies.  The  man  valued  the  gift  highly ;  he  had  ex- 
pended two  pieces  of  cloth  and  a  quantit}'^  of  rum  in  fetish,  at 
Accra,  before  he  joined  the  Mission ;  but  for  which,  he  told  me, 
he  was  convinced  the  Ashantees  would  have  managed  to  poison 
him  :  yet,  he  was  one  of  the  most  sensible  natives  I  ever  conversed 
with.  A  sheet  of  paper  would  support  an  inferior  Moor  in  Coo- 
massie  for  a  month.  Several  of  the  Ashantee  captains  offered 
seriously  to  let  us  fire  at  them  ;  in  short,  their  confidence  in  these 
fetishes  is  almost  as  incredible,  as  the  despondency  and  panic 
imposed  on  their  southern  and  western  enemies  by  the  recollection 
of  them :  they  impel  the  Ashantees,  fearless  and  headlong,  to  the 
most  daring  enterprises,  they  dispirit  their  adversaries,  almost  to 
the  neglect  of  an  interposition  of  fortune  in  their  favour.  The 
Ashantees  believe  that  the  constant  prayers  of  the  Moors,  who 
have  persuaded  them  that  they  converse  with  the  Deity,  invigorate 
themselves,  and  gradually  waste  the  spirit  and  strength  of  their 
enemies.  This  faith  is  not  less  impulsive  than  that  which  achieved 
the  Arabian  conquests. 

Neither  the  Ashantees  or  their  neighbours  have  any  tradition  of 
a  deluge,  nor  does  Catcott,  the  only  writer  1  recollect  to  have  read 
on  its  universality,  report  any  iSTegro  tradition,  though  he  submits 


SUPERSTITIONS.  273 

that  of  the  American  tribes,  with  those  of  the  other  nations  of  the 
world.  The  Moors  told  me,  that  the  waters  of  the  deluge  retired 
to,  and  Avere  absorbed  in  the  lake  Caudi  or  Caughi,  which  they 
also  called  Bahar  Noohoo,  or  the  sea  of  Noah. 

Amongst  other  observations,  I  recollect  the  Moors  to  have  said, 
that  Moses  spoke  like  God,  that  Abraham  was  the  friend  of  God, 
that  Jesus  was  a  spirit  of  God,  but  that  Mahomet  was  the  best 
beloved  of  God.  They  added,  that  there  were  four  books  written 
by  the  inspiration  of  God,  at  different  times.  Moses  wrote  Tau- 
ratoo ;  David,  Zaboura ;  Jesus,  Lingheel ;  and  Mahomet,  Al 
Koran.  Lightning,  they  said,  was  occasioned  by  God  waving  his 
hand  to  direct  the  courses  of  his  angels.  One  Moor  was  a  great 
etymologist;  he  told  me,  that  Mahomet  rushing  between  two 
armies,  who  were  fighting,  exclaimed  to  one  party,  "  Toorek ! 
Toorek  \"  (leave  oif !  leave  off!)  and  that  those  people  were  thence- 
forward called  Turks.  I  questioned  them  concerning  the  origin  of 
nations ;  they  told  me,  that  Japhet  was  the  most  active  in  covering 
the  nakedness  of  his  father,  which  Ham  discovered,  and  thence  the 
subjection  of  black  men  the  descendants  of  Ham,  to  Europeans 
the  descendants  of  Japhet.  Shem,  from  whom  they  were  them- 
selves descended,  they  said,  was  neither  so  good  or  so  bad  as  his 
brothers,  and  therefore  his  children  enjoyed  a  medium  of  endow- 
ment and  favour.  They  augured  from  the  sacrifice  of  sheep,  with 
which  the  King  supplied  them  abundantly,  and,  excepting  those 
who  had  made  a  pilgrimage  to  Mecca,  (of  which  they  told  us 
wonderful  tales)  did  not  hesitate  mingling  the  superstitions  of  the 
natives  with  their  own,  either  for  their  profit  or  safety.  They  were 
tolerably  expert  in  slight  of  hand  ti'icks. 


274  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 


CHAPTER   V. 


Customs. 


1  H  E  Yam  Custom  is  annual,  just  at  the  maturity  of  that  vegetable, 
which  is  planted  in  DecCTiber,  and  not  eaten  until  the  conclusion 
of  the  custom,  the  early  part  of  September.  All  the  caboceers 
and  captains,  and  the  majority  of  the  tributaries^  are  enjoined  to 
attend,  none  being  excused,  but  such  as  the  Kings  of  Inta,  and 
Dagwumba,  (who  send  deputations  of  their  principal  caboceers,) 
and  those  who  have  been  dispatched  elsewhere  on  public  business. 
If  a  chief  or  caboceer  has  offended,  or  if  his  fidelity  be  suspected, 
he  is  seldom  accused  or  punished  until  the  Yam  Custom,  which  they 
attend  frequently  unconscious,  and  always  uncertain  of  what  may 
be  laid  to  their  charge.  The  Yam  Custom  is  like  the  Saturnaha; 
neither  theft,  intrigue,  or  assault  are  punishable  during  the  con- 
tinuance, but  the  grossest  liberty  prevails,  and  each  sex  abandons 
itself  to  its  passions. 

On  Friday  the  5th  of  September,  the  number,  splendor,  and 
variety  of  arrivals,  thronging  from  the  different  paths,  was  as 
astonishing  as  entertaining;  but  there  was  an  alloy  in  the  gratifica- 
tion, for  the  principal  caboceers  sacrificed  a  slave  at  each  quarter 
of  the  town,  on  their  entre. 

In  the  afternoon  of  Saturday,  the  King  received  all  the  caboceers 
and  captains  in  the  large  area,  Avhere  the  Dankara  canons  are 


2T4  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE, 


CHAPTER   V. 


Customs. 


1  H  E  Yam  Custom  is  annual,  just  at  the  maturity  of  that  vegetable 
which  is  planted  in  Dec^iber,  and  not  eaten  until  the  conclusion 
of  the  custom,  the  early  part  of  September.  All  the  caboceers 
and  captains,  and  the  majority  of  the  tribulariesj  are  enjoined  to 
attend,  none  being  excused,  but  such  as  the  Kings  of  Inta,  and 
Dagwumba,  (who  send  deputations  of  their  principal  caboceers,) 
and  those  who  have  been  dispatched  elsewhere  on  public  business. 
If  a  chief  or  caboceer  has  offended,  or  if  his  fidelity  be  suspected, 
he  is  seldom  accused  or  punished  until  the  Yam  Custom,  which  they 
attend  frequently  unconscious,  and  always  uncertain  of  what  may 
be  laid  to  their  charge.  The  Yam  Custom  is  like  the  Saturnalia; 
neither  theft,  intrigue,  or  assault  are  punishable  during  the  con- 
tinuance, but  the  grossest  liberty  prevails,  and  each  sex  abandons 
itself  to  its  passions. 

On  Friday  the  5th  of  September,  the  number,  splendor,  and 
variety  of  arrivals,  thronging  from  the  different  paths,  was  as 
astonishing  as  entertaining;  but  there  was  an  alloy  in  the  gratifica- 
tion, for  the  principal  caboceers  sacrificed  a  slave  at  each  quarter 
of  the  town,  on  their  entre. 

In  the  afternoon  of  Saturday,  the  King  received  all  the  caboceers 
and  captains  in  the  large  area,  where  the  Dankara  canons  are 


CUSTOMS.  275 

placed.  The  scene  was  marked  with  all  the  splendor  of  our  own 
entre,  and  many  additional  novelties.  The  crush  in  the  distance 
was  awfiil  and  distressing.  All  the  heads  of  the  kings  and  cabo- 
ceers  whose  kingdoms  had  been  conquered,  from  Sai  Tootoo  to 
the  present  reign,  with  those  of  the  chiefs  who  had  been  executed 
for  subsequent  revolts,  were  displayed  by  two  parties  of  execu- 
tioners, each  upwar(^  of  a  hundred,  Avho  passed  in  an  impassioned 
dance,  some  with  the  most  irresistible  grimace,  some  with  the  most 
frightful  gesture :  they  clashed  their  knives  on  the  skulls,  in  which 
sprigs  of  thyme  we^  inserted,  to  keep  the  spirits  from  troubling 
the  King.  I  never  felt  so  grateful  for  being  born  in  a  civilized 
country.  Firing  and  .drinking  palm  wine  were  the  only  divertisse- 
mens  to  the  ceremony  of  the  caboceers  presenting  themselves  to 
the  King ;  they  were  announced,  and  passed  all  round  the  circle 
saluting  every  umbrella :  their  bands  preceded ;  we  reckoned 
above  forty  drums  in  that  of  the  King  of  Dwabin.  The  effi^ct  of 
the  splendor,  the '  tumult,  and  the  musquetry,  was  afterwards 
heightened  by  torch  light.  We  left  the  ground  at  10  o'clock  ;  the 
umbrellas  were  crowded  even  in  the  distant  streets,  the  town  was 
covered  like  a  large  fair,  the  broken  sounds  of  distant  horns  and 
drums  filled  up  the  momentary  pauses  of  the  firing  which  encircled 
us :  the  uproar  continued  until  four  in  the  morning,  just  before 
which  the  King  retired.  I  have  attempted  a  drawing,  (No.  2.)  it 
is  by;Qo  means  adequate,  yet  more  so  than  description  could  be. 

On  the  left  side  of  the  drawing  is  a  group  of  captains  dancing 
and  firing,  as  described  in  our  entre.  Immediately  above  the 
encircHng  soldiery,  is  a  young  caboceer  under  his  umbrella,  borne 
on  the  shoulders  of  his  chief  slave ;  he  salutes  as  he  passes  along, 
and  is  preceded  and  surrounded  by  boys  (with  elephants  tails, 
feathers,  &c.)  and  his  captains,  who,  lifting  their  swords  in  the  air, 
halloo  out  the  deeds  of  his  fore-fathers ;  his  stool  is  borne  close  to 


276  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

him,  ornamented  with  a  large  brass  bell.  Above  is  the  fanciful 
standard  of  a  chief,  who  is  preceded  and  followed  by  numerous 
attendants ;  he  is  supported  round  the  waist  by  a  confidential 
slave,  and  one  wrist  is  so  heavily  laden  with  gold,  that  it  is  supported 
on  the  head  of  a  small  boy ;  with  the  other  hand  he  is  saluting  a 
seated  caboceer,  sawing  the  air  by  a  motion  from  the  wrist.  His 
umbrella  is  sprung  up  and  down  to  increase  the  breeze,  and  large 
grass  fans  are  also  playing ;  his  handsomest  slave  girl  follows,  bear- 
ing on  her  head  a  small  red  leather  trunk,  full  of  gold  ornaments, 
and  rich  cloths ;  behind  are  soldiers  and  drummers,  who  throw 
their  white-washed  drums  in  the  air,  and  catch  them  again,  with 
much  agility  and  grimace,  as  they  walk  along.  Boys  are  in  the 
front,  bearing  elephants  tails,  fly  flappers,  &c.  and  his  captains 
with  uplifted  swords,  are  hastening  forward  the  musicians  and 
soldiers.  Amongst  the  latter  is  the  stool,  so  stained  with  blood  that 
it  is  thought  decent  to  cover  it  with  red  silk.  Behind  the  musicians 
is  Odumata,  coming  round  to  join  the  procession  in  his  state  ham- 
mock lined  Avith  red  taffeta,  and  smoking  under  his  umbrella,  at 
the  top  of  which  is  a  stuffed  leopard.  In  the  area  below  is  an 
unfortunate  victim,  tortured  in  the  manner  described  in  the  entre, 
and  two  of  the  King's  messengers  clearing  the  way  for  him.  The 
King's  four  linguists  are  seen  next ;  two,  Otee  and  Quancum,  are 
seated  in  conversation  under  an  umbrella ;  the  chief,  Adoosey,  is 
swearing  a  royal  messenger,  (to  fetch  an  absent  caboceer,)  by 
putting  a  gold  handled  sword  between  his  teeth,  whilst  Agay 
delivers  the  charge,  and  exhorts  him  to  be  resolute.  The  criers, 
all  deformed  and  with  monkey  skin  caps,  are  seated  in  the  front. 
Under  the  next  umbrella  is  the  royal  stool,  thickly  cased  in  gold. 
Gold  pipes,  fans  of  ostrich  wing  feathers,  captains  seated  with  gold 
swords,  wolves  heads  and  snakes  as  large  as  life  of  the  same  metal, 
depending   from    the   handles,   girls    bearing   silver  bowls,   body 


CUSTOMS.  277 

guards,  &c.  &c.  are  mingled  together  till  we  come  to  the  King, 
seated  in  a  chair  of  ebony  and  gold,  and  dressed  much  in  the  same 
way  as  described  at  the  first  interview.  He  is  holding  up  his  two 
fingers  to  receive  the  oath  of  the  captain  to  the  right,  who,  pointing 
to  a  distant  country,  vows  to  conquer  it.  On  the  right  and  left  of 
the  state  umbrella  are  the  flags  of  Great  Britain,  Holland,  and 
Denmark.  A  group  of  painted  figures  are  dancing  up  to  the 
King,  in  the  most  extravagant  attitudes,  beating  time  Avith  their 
long  knives  on  the  skulls  stuck  full  of  thyme.  On  the  right  of  the 
King  is  the  eunuch,  who  superintends  the  group  of  small  boys,  the 
children  of  the  nobility,  waving  elephants  tails,  (spangled  with 
gold,)  feathers,  &c.:  behind  him  is  the  above  mentioned  captain 
and  other  chiefs  dressed  as  in  the  left  end  of  the  drawing.  Musi- 
cians, seated  and  standing,  are  playing  on  instruments  cased  or 
plated  with  gold.  The  officers  of  the  Mission  are  next  seen,  their 
linguists  in  front,  their  soldiers,  servants,  and  flag  behind,  at  the 
back  of  whom  is  placed  the  King's  state  hammock,  under  its  own 
umbrella.  Adjoining  the  officers  is  old  Quatchie  Quofie  and  his 
followers  ;  at  the  top  of  his  umbrella  is  stuck  a  small  black  Avooden 
image,  with  a  bunch  of  rusty  hair  on  the  head,  intending  to  repre- 
sent the  famous  Akim  caboceer  who  was  killed  by  him ;  vain  of 
the  action,  he  is  seen  according  to  his  usual  custom,  dancing 
before  and  deriding  his  fallen  enemy,  whilst  his  captains  bawl  out 
the  deed,  and  halloo  their  acclamations.  The  manner  of  drinking 
9»  palm  wine  is  exhibited  in  the  next  group,  a  boy  kneels  beneath 
with  a  second  bowl  to  catch  the  droppings,  (it  being  a  great 
luxury  to  suffer  the  liquor  to  run  over  the  beard,)  whilst  the  horns 
flourish,  and  the  captains  halloo  the  strong  names.  The  Moors  are 
easily  distinguished  by  their  caps,  and  preposterous  turbans.  One 
is  blessing  a  Dagwumba  caboceer,  who  is  passing  on  horseback, 
(the  animal  covered  with  fetishes  and   bells,)  escorted  by  his  men 


278  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

in  tunics,  bearing  lances,  and  his  musicians  with  rude  violins, 
distinct  from  the  sanko.  The  back  of  the  whole  assemVjly  is  lined 
with  royal  soldiers,  and  the  commoner  ones  are  ranged  in  front, 
with  here  and  there  a  captain  and  a  group  of  musicians,  who,  some 
Avith  an  old  cocked  hat,  some  with  a  soldier's  jacket,  &g.  tScc.  afford 
a  ludicrous  appearance.  This  description  will  be  rendered  more 
illustrative  of  the  drawing,  by  referring  to  that  of  our  entre. 

The  next  morning  the  King  ordered  a  large  quantity  of  rum  to 
be  poured  into  brass  pans,  in  various  parts  of  the  town ;  the  crowd 
pressing  around,  and  drinking  like  hogs ;  freemen  and  slaves, 
women  and  children,  striking,  kicking,  and  trampling  each  other 
under  foot,  pushed  head  foremost  into  the  pans,  and  spilling  much 
more  than  they  drank.  In  less  than  an  hour,  excepting  the  prin- 
cipal men,  not  a  sober  person  was  to  be  seen,  parties  of  four 
reeling  and  rolling  under  the  weight  of  another,  whom  they  affected 
to  be  carrying  home  ;  strings  of  women  covered  with  red  paint, 
hand  in  hand,  falling  down  like  rows  of  cards ;  the  commonest 
mechanics  and  slaves  furiously  declaiming  on  state  palavers ;  the 
most  discordant  music,  the  most  obscene  songs,  children  of  both 
sexes  prostrate  in  insensibility.  All  wore  their  handsomest  cloths, 
which  they  trailed  after  them  to  a  great  length,  in  a  drunken 
emulation  of  extravagance  and  dirtiness.* 

Towards  evening  the  populace  grew  sober  again,  the  strange 
caboceers  displayed  their  equipages  in  every  direction,  and  at  five 

•  The  description  of  tlie  siege  of  Pondicherry  in  Voltaire  occurred  to  me ;  it  v  ill  assist 
the  imaginalion  of  the  reader :  "  De  grands  magasins  de  liqueurs  fortes  y  entretenaient 
I'ivrogncrie  et  tons  les  maux  dont  elle  est  le  gcrme.     C'cst  une  situation  qu'il  faut  avoir 

vue.     Les  travaux,  les  gardes  de  la  tranchee  ctaient  fails  par  des  homines  ivres 

-  -  -  -  De-lh.  les  scenes  les  plus  honteuses  et  les  plus  destructives  de  la  subordination  et  de 
la  discipline.  On  a  vu  des  ofliciers  se  collefer  avec  des  soldats  et  mUle  autres  actions 
infames,  dont  le  detail,  renferme  dans  les  homes  de  la  verity  la  plus  exacte,  paraitrait  une 
exageration  monstreuse," 


CUSTOMS.  279 

o'clock  there  was  a  procession  from  the  pahice  to  the  south  end  of 
the  town  and  back;  the  King  and  the  dignitaries  were  carried  in 
their  hammocks,  and  passed  through  a  continued  blaze  of  musketry : 
the  crush  was  dreadful.  The  next  day  (Monday)  was  occupied  in 
state  palavers,  and  on  Tuesday  the  diet  broke  up,  and  most  of  the 
caboceers  took  leave. 

About  a  hundred  persons,  mostly  culprits  reserved,  are  generally 
sacrificed,  in  different  quarters  of  the  town,  at  this  custom.  Several 
slaves  were  also  sacrificed  at  Bantama,  over  the  large  brass  pan, 
their  blood  mingling  with  the  various  vegetable  and  animal  matter 
within,  (fresh  and  putrefied,)  to  complete  the  charm,  and  produce 
invincible  fetish.  All  the  chiefs  kill  several  slaves,  that  their  blood 
may  flow  into  the  hole  from  whence  the  new  j^am  is  taken.  Those 
who  cannot  afford  to  kill  slaves,  take  the  head  of  one  already 
sacrificed  and  place  it  on  the  hole.* 

The  royal  gold  ornaments  are  melted  down  every  Yam  Custom, 
and  fashioned  into  new  patterns,  as  novel  as.  possible  This  is  a 
piece  of  state  policy  very  imposing  on  the  populace,  and  the 
tribatary  chiefs  who  pay  but  an  annual  visit. 

About  ten  days  after  the  custom,  the  whole  of  the  royal  houshold 
eat  new  yam  for  the  first  time,  in  the  market  place,  the  King 
attending.  The  next  day  he  and  the  captains  set  off  for  Sarrasoo 
before  sun  rise,  to  perform  their  annual  ablutions  in  the  river  Dah. 
Almost  all  the  inhabitants  follow  him,   and  the^  capital  appears 

*  In  Ahanta,  at  the  Coiitoom  or  Harvest  custom,  each  family  erects  its  rude  altar, 
composed  of  four  sticks  driven  in  the  ground,  and  twigs  laid  across  the  top ;  the  whole  is 
then  covered  with  fresh  pulled  leaves.  A  hog,  a  sheep,  a  goat,  or  a  fowl  is  killed,  accord- 
ing to  the  means  of  the  family,  and  the  most  delicate  parts  laid  on  the  altar,  a  mixture  is 
made  of  eggs,  palm  oil,  palm  wine,  the  blood  of  the  animal  slain,  and  other  ingi-edients, 
and  also  dedicated  to  the  fetish,  in  small  pots  placed  on  the  altar.  In  a  few  days  these 
altars  become  so  offensive  as  to  render  it  disagreeable  to  pass  them,  but  they  are  never 
removed. 


2S0  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

deserted ;  the  succeeding  day  the  King  washes  in  the  marsh  at  the 
south-east  end  of  the  town,  the  captains  hning  the  streets  leading 
to  it  on  both  sides.  He  is  attended  b_y  his  suite,  hut  he  laves  the 
water  with  his  own  hands  over  himself,  his  chairs,  stools,  gold  and 
silver  plate,  and  the  various  articles  of  furniture  used  especially  by 
him.  Several  brass  pans  are  covered  with  white  cloth,  with  various 
fetish  under  them.  About  twenty  sheep  are  dipped,  (one  sheep 
and  one  goat  only  are  sacrificed  at  the  time,)  to  be  killed  in  the 
palace  in  the  afternoon,  that  their  blood  may  be  poured  on  the 
stools  and  door  posts.  All  the  doors,  windows,  and  arcades  of  the 
palace,  are  plentifully  besmeared  with  a  mixture  of  eggs,  and  palm 
oil ;  as  also  the  stools  of  the  different  tribes  and  families.  After  the 
ceremony  of  washing  is  over,  the  principal  captains  precede  the 
King  to  the  palace,  where,  contrary  to  usual  custom,  none  but 
those  of  the  first  rank  are  allowed  to  enter,  to  see  the  procession 
pass.  The  King's  fetish  men  walk  first,  with  attendants  holding 
basins  of  sacred  water,  which  they  sprinkle  plentifully  over  the 
chiefs  with  branches,*  the  more  superstitious  running  to  have  a 
little  poured  on  their  heads,  and  even  on  their  tongues.  The  King 
and  his  attendants  all  wear  Avhite  cloths  on  this  occasion.  Three 
white  lambs  are  led  before  him,  intended  for  sacrifice  at  his  bed 
chamber.     All  his  wives  follow,  with  a  guard  of  archers. 

Another  national  custom  is  the  Adai,  by  the  number  of  which 
the  Ashantees  appear  to  reckon  their  year,  which  began,  I  could 
not  understand  why,  on  the  first  of  October.  The  common  people 
pretend,  or  believe,  that  the  time  for  repeating  the  Adai,  is  marked 
by  the  falling  of  a  fruit  like  a  gourd,  from  a  tree  called  Brebretim, 
and  which  generally  takes  place  in  about  twenty  days  from  its  first 
appearance,  all  the  birds  and  beasts  in  the  neighbourhood  crying 

*  "  Idem  ter  socios  pura  circumtulit  unda, 

Spargens  rore  levi  et  ramo  felicis  olivfe."      ^n.  vi 


CUSTOMS.  281 

out  simultaneously.  They  further  pretend,  that  from  the  fruit  of 
this  tree  spring  various  kinds  of  vegetables.  This  account  of  the 
tree,  known  in  Warsaw  as  well,  is  peculiar  to  Ashantee.  The 
customs  are  alternately  called  the  great  and  little  Adai,  the  former 
taking  place  always  on  a  Sunday,  the  latter  on  a  Wednesday ;  and 
it  appeared  to  me,  from  calculation,  that  there  were  six  weeks 
between  each  great  Adai,  and  six  between  each  little  one,  so  that 
the  custom  was  generally  held  every  twenty-one  days. 

The  large  drum  which  stands  at  the  entrance  of  the  palace, 
adorned  with  skulls  and  thigh  bones,  is  struck  with  great  force  at 
sun  set  the  preceding  day,  as  a  signal ;  the  whole  of  the  establish- 
ment of  the  palace  shout,  and  their  shout  is  echoed  by  the  people 
throughout  the  town.  Music  and  firing  generally  beguile  the  night. 
The  next  morning  the  King  goes  to  the  fetish  house,  (Hiinma,) 
opposite  the  palace,  and  offers  several  sheep  ;  the  blood  of  this 
sacrifice  is  poured  on  the  gold  stool,  to  which  extraordinary  virtues 
are  ascribed,  being  considered  the  palladium  of  the  kingdom  :  the 
deposition  of  Sai  Quamina  was  protracted  from  his  having  it  in  his 
possession  at  Dwabin.  The  caboceers  and  captains,  many  coming 
fron)  towns  two  or  three  days  distant,  begin  to  march  to  the  large 
yard  of  the  palace  about  sun  rise,  to  secure  their  places.  We 
generally  attended  between  nine  and  ten,  when  the  King  had  just 
seated  himself.  The  first  ceremony  was  penetrating  to  the  King, 
through  the  various  state  oflScers  and  attendants,  to  wish  him  good 
morning,  at  which  he  slightly  inclined  his  head.  The  chiefs  as  they 
advanced  to  do  so,  were  supported  and  followed  by  a  few  favourite 
attendants,  who  flourished  their  swords  in  the  air,  the  gold  handles 
upwards,  and  the  band  of  each  began  to  play  as  he  left  his  seat. 
Young  caboceers  of  five  and  six  years  of  age,  stalked  by  with 
interesting  vanity.  After  tliis  the  King  left  his  chair,  which  was 
turned  upside  down,  and  retired  a  few  minutes  into  the  palace. 

o  o 


282  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

All  the  horns  flourished  as  he  made  his  exit  and  entree ;  swords, 
feathers,  elephants  tails,  were  waved  rapidly,  and  the  drums  beaten 
with  deafening  effect.  After  he  was  seated,  the  linguists,  preceded 
by  their  gold  canes  and  insignia,  presented  a  sheep,  a  flask  of  rum, 
(drank  on  the  ground,)  and  ten  ackies  of  gold  to  each  superior 
captain,  and  somewhat  less  to  the  others.  Another  flourish  pro- 
claimed the  dispensation  of  the  King's  bount3^  Five  or  six  men 
then  rose  ;  and  chaunted  his  deeds  and  titles  for  about  ten  minutes. 
I  regret  exceedingly  that  this  chaunt  was  not  noted,  it  was  so 
harmonious.  I  observed  them  put  something  between  their  teeth 
before  they  began.  The  same  tedious  form  of  saluting  the  King 
was  now  repeated  to  return  thanks.  Any  new  law  was  afterwards 
promulgated,  which  occurred  but  twice  during  our  stay,  and  the 
levee  broke  up  on  the  King's  leaving  his  chair.  Not  unfrequently 
the  whole  took  place  during  heavy  rain.  It  was  computed  that 
the  King  dashed  or  presented  forty  pereguins  of  gold  (£400.) 
every  Ada'i  custom.* 

The  decease  of  a  person  is  announced  by  a  discharge  of  muketry, 
proportionate  to  his  rank,  or  the  wealth  of  his  family.  In  an 
instant  you  see  a  crowd  of  slaves  burst  from  the  house,  and  run 
towards  the  bush,  flattering  themsehes  that  the  hindmost,  or  those 
surprised  in  the  house,  will  furnish  the  human  victims  for  sacrifice, 
if  they  can  but  secrete  themselves  until  the  custom  is  over.  The 
body  is  then  handsomely  drest  in  silk  and  gold,  and  laid  out  on 

*  The  Ahanta's  divide  time  into  periods  of  three  weeks.  The  first  week  is  called 
Adai,  and  is  termed  tlie  good  week,  in  which  much  work  is  done ;  and  traders  visit  the 
maj-kets  more  frequently  in  tliis  week  than  at  any  other  time,  supposing  all  they  do  in 
it  must  prosper.  The  second  week  is  Ajamfoe,  or  tlie  bad  week,  in  which  no  work  or 
trade  is  done,  the  natives  believing  every  thing  undertaken  in  it  must  faiJ.  The  third 
week  is  Adim,  or  the  little  good  week,  in  which  they  both  work  and  trade,  but  not  as 
much  as  in  the  Ada'i. 


CUSTOMS.  28S 

the  bed,  the  richest  cloths  beside  it.*  One  or  two  slaves  are  then 
sacrificed  at  the  door  of  the  house.  I  shall  describe  the  custom 
for  Quatchie  Quofie's  mother,  which  we  witnessed  August  the  2d. ; 
it  was  by  no  means  a  great  one,  but  it  will  give  the  most  correct 
idea  of  these  splendid,  but  barbarous  ceremonies.  The  King, 
Quatchie  Quofie,  and  Odumata  each  sacrificed  a  young  girl  directly 
the  deceased  had  breathed  her  last,  that  she  might  not  want  for 
attendants  until  the  greater  sacrifice  was  made.  The  retainers, 
adherents,  and  friends  of  the  family  then  sent  contributions  of 
gold,  powder,  rum,  and  cloth,  to  be  expended  at  the  custom;  the 
King,  as  heir,  exceeding  every  quota  but  that  of  the  nearest  rela- 
tive, who  succeeded  to  the  stool  and  slaves.  The  King  also  sent  a 
sum  of  gold,  and  some  rich  cloths  to  be  buried  with  the  deceased, 
in  the  basket  or  coffin.  I  could  not  learn  the  various  sums  of  gold  • 
dust  with  sufficient  accuracy  to  note  them,  but  the  following  were 
the  quantities  of  powder  presented  on  the  occasion  : 

Quatchie  Quofie         -  -         20   oz.  (of  gold)  kegs. 

King         -  -  -         _       4 

King's  brother         _         _         -         2 

Amanquate'a         -         -  -        2 

Odumata         -  -  -  2 

Apokoo         -  _  -  1  ^   ' 

Otee         -  -        -  -        1 

Yapensoo         -  -  -         1 

Amanqua  Abiniowa  (the  nephew)     2 

(Name  illegible)         -  -  1 

Adoosey         -  -  -  1 

Jessinting         -  -  -         1 

Saphoo         _         _         _  -  1 

Ooshoo         -  -  -  1 

Inferior  retainers         -  -         4 

44  nearly  12  barrels. 

*  Turn  membra  toro  defleta  reponunt, 

Purpureasque  super  vestes,  velamina  nota, 
Conjiciunt ;  ^n.  vi. 

In  Fantee  they  dress  the  body  richly,  and  usually  prop  it  erect  in  a  chair,  exposing  it 


284  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

The  inferior  retainers  of  Quatchie  Quotie  gave  four  ackies  of  gold, 
and  eight  fathoms  of  cloth  each.  I  was  tokl  these  contributions 
were  unusually  small,  from  the  command  of  the  King  that  the 
greatest  economy  should  be  observed  in  every  expenditure  of 
powder,  on  account  of  the  approaching  war. 

We  walked  to  Assafoo  about  twelve  o'clock  ;  the  vultures  were 
hovering  around  two  headless  trunks,  scarcely  cold.  Several  troops 
of  women,  from  fifty  to  a  hundred  in  each,  were  dancing  by  in 
movements  resembling  skaiting,  lauding  and  bewailing  the  deceased 
in  the  most  dismal,  yet  not  discordant  strains  ;  audible,  from  the 
vast  number,  at  a  considerable  distance.  Other  troops  carried 
the  rich  cloths  and  silks  of  the  deceased  on  their  heads,  in  shining 
brass  pans,  twisted  and  stuffed  into  crosses,  cones,  globes,  and  a 
fanciful  variety  of  shapes  only  to  be  imagined,  and  imposing  at  a 
small  distance  the  appearance  of  rude  deities.  The  faces,  arms, 
and  breasts  of  these  women  were  profusely  daubed  with  red  earth, 
in  horrid  enmlation  of  those  who  had  succeeded  in  besmearing 
themselves  with  the  blood  of  the  victims.  The  crowd  was  over- 
bearing; horns,  drums,  and  muskets,  yells,  groans,  and  screeches 
invaded  our  hearing  with  as  many  horrors  as  were  crowded  on  our 
sight.  Now  and  then  a  victim  was  hurried  by,  generally  dragged 
or  run  along  at  full  speed  ;  the  uncouth  dress,  and  the  exulting 
countenances  of  those  who  surrounded  him,  likening  them  to  as 
many  fiends.  I  observed  apathy,  more  frequently  than  despair  or 
emotion,  in  the  looks  of  the  victims.  The  chiefs  and  captains  were 
arriving  in  all  directions,  announced  by  the  firing  of  muskets,  and 
the  pecuhar  flourishes  of  their  horns,  many  of  which  were  by  this 
time  familiar  to  us ;  they  were  then  habited  plainly  as  warriors, 

until  it  is  dangerous  to  do  so  any  longer :  they  bury  it  in  their  house,  with  as  many  gold 
ornaments  as  they  can  afford  to  dedicate.  The  men  called  the  town  drummers  are  only 
allowed  to  die  standing,  and  when  expiring  are  snatched  up,  and  supported  in  thttt 
^wsture.     In  Ahauta  they  freciuently  exhibit  the  body  chalked  all  over. 


CUSTOMS.  286 

and  were  soon  lost  to  our  sight  in  the  crowd.  As  old  Odumata 
passed  in  his  hammock,  he  bade  us  observe  him  well  when  he 
passed  again  :  tliis  prepared  us  in  a  small  degree.  Presently  the 
King's  arrival  in  the  market  place  was  announced,  the  crowd  rolled 
towards  it  impetuously,  but  the  soldiery  hacked  on  all  sides  indis- 
crimmately,  and  formed  a  passage  for  the  procession.  Quatchie 
Quofie  hurried  by,  plunging  from  side  to  side  like  a  Bacchanal, 
drunk  with  the  adulation  of  his  bellowing  supporters  ;  his  attitudes 
were  responsive  to  the  horror  and  barbarism  of  the  exultations 
which  inspired  them.  The  victims,  with  large  knives  driven  through 
their  cheeks,  eyed  him  with  indifference;  he  them  with  a  savage 
joy,  bordering  on  phrenzy  :  insults  were  aggravated  on  the  one, 
flattery  lavished  on  the  other.  Our  disgust  was  beguiled  for  an 
instant  by  surprise.  The  chiefs  who  had  just  before  passed  us  in 
their  swarthy  cloths,  and  the  dark  gloomy  habits  of  war,  now 
followed  Quatchie  Quofie,  ghstening  in  all  the  splendor  of  their 
fetish  dresses  ;  (see  drawing,  No.  I.)  the  sprightly  variety  of  their 
movements  ill  accorded  with  the  ceremony.  Old  Odumata's  vest 
was  covered  with  fetish,  cased  invariably  in  gold  or  silver.  A 
variety  of  extraordinary  ornament  and  novel  insignia,  courted  and 
reflected  the  sun  in  every  direction.  It  was  like  a  splendid  panto- 
mime after  a  Gothic  tragedy. 

We  followed  to  the  market  place.  The  King,  and  the  chiefs  not 
immediately  connected  with  Quatchie  Quofie,  were  seated  under 
their  canopies,  with  the  usual  insignia  and  retinue,  and  lined  about 
the  half  of  a  circle,  apparently  half  a  mile  in  circumference;  the 
soldiery  completed  it,  their  respective  chiefs  situated  amongst 
them.  Thirteen  victims,  surrounded  by  their  executioners,  whose 
black  shaggy  caps  and  vests  gave  them  the  appearance  of  bears 
rather  than  men,  were  pressed  together  by  the  crowd  to  the  left  of 
the  King.  The  troops  of  women,  before  described,  paraded  without 


286  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

the  circle,  vociferating  the  dirge.  Rum  and  palm  wine  were 
flowing  copiously,  horns  and  drums  were  exerted  even  to  frenzy. 
In  an  instant  there  Avas  a  burst  of  musketry  near  the  King,  and  it 
spread  and  continued  incessantly,  around  the  circle,  for  upwards 
of  an  hour.  The  soldiers  kept  their  stations,  but  the  chiefs,  after 
firing,  bounded  once  round  the  area  with  the  gesture  and  extra- 
vagance of  iiiadmen ;  their  panting  followers  enveloping  them  in 
flags,  occasionally  firing  in  all  the  attitudes  of  a  scaramouch,  and 
incessantly  bellowing  the  strong  names  of  their  exulting  chief, 
whose  musket  they  snatched  from  his  hands  directly  he  had  fired. 
An  old  hag,  described  as  the  head  fetish  woman  of  the  family, 
screamed  and  plunged  about  in  the  midst  of  the  fire  as  if  in  the 
greatest  agonies.  The  greater  the  chief  the  heavier  the  charge  of 
powder  he  is  allowed  to  fire;  the  heaviest  charge  recollected,  was 
that  fired  by  the  King  on  the  death  of  his  sister,  18  ackies,  or  an 
ounce  avoirdupoise.  Their  blunderbusses  and  long  guns  were 
almost  all  braced  closely  with  the  cordage  of  the  country  ;  they 
were  generally  supported  by  their  attendants  whilst  they  fired, 
several  did  not  appear  to  recover  it  for  nearly  a  minute ;  Odumata's 
old  frame  seemed  shaken  almost  to  dissolution.  Many  made  a 
point  of  collecting  near  us,  just  within  the  circle,  and  firing  as  close 
as  possible  to  startle  us ;  the  frequent  bursting  of  their  nmskets 
made  this  rather  alarming  as  well  as  disagreeable.  The  firing 
abated,  they  drank  freely  from  the  bowls  of  palm  wine,  religiously 
pouring  a  small  quantity  on  the  ground  before  they  raised  them  to 
their  lips.*  *' 

*  "  Hie  duo  rite  mero  libans  carchesia  Bacclio 

"  Fundit  humi.  ^n.  v. 

"  Oivov  S'lx  ScTracuv  yu\i.c&\z  X^ov,  ouos  tjj  srXvj 

The  Asbantees  do  so  not  only  on  solemn  occasions,  but  invariably ;  and  it  •would  seem 
that  the  Greeks  did,  from  the  following  words  of  Hecuba  to  Hector, 


CUSTOMS.  287 

The  principal  females  of  the  family,  many  of  them  very  hand- 
some, and  of  elegant  figures,  came  forward  to  dance ;  dressed, 
generally,  in  yellow  silk,  with  a  silver  knife  hung  by  a  chain  round 
their  necks;  one  with  a  gold,  another  with  a  silver  horn;  a  few 
were  dressed  as  fetish  women;  an  vimbrella  was  held  over  the  grand 
daughter  as  she  danced.  The  Ashantees  dance  incomparably 
better  than  the  people  of  the  Avater  side,  indeed  elegantly;  the 
sexes  do  not  dance  separately,  as  in  Fantee,  but  the  man  encir- 
cles the  woman  with  a  piece  of  silk  which  he  generally  flirts  in  his 
right  hand,  supports  her  round  the  waist,  receives  her  elbows  in 
the  palms  of  his  hands,  and  a  variety  of  figures  approximating, 
with  the  time  and  movement,  very  closely  to  the  waltz. 

A  dash  of  sheep  and  rum  was  exchanged  between  the  King  and 
Quatchie  Quofie,  and  the  drums  announced  the  sacrifice  of  the 
victims.  All  the  chiefs  first  visited  them  in  turn ;  I  was  not  near 
enough  to  distinguish  wherefore.  The  executioners  wrangled  and 
struggled  for  the  oflice,  and  the  indifference  with  which  the  first 
poor  creature  looked  on,  in  the  torture  he  was  from  the  knife 
passed  through  his  cheeks,  was  remarkable  :  the  nearest  executioner 
snatched  the  sword  from  the  others,  the  right  hand  of  the  victim 
was  then  lopped  off,  he  was  thrown  down,  and  his  head  was  sawed 
rather  than  cut  oflT;  it  was  cruelly  prolonged,  I  will  not  say  wilfully. 
Twelve  more  were  dragged  forward,  but  we  forced  our  way  through 
the  crowd,  and  retired  to  our  quarters.  Other  sacrifices,  princi- 
pally female,  were  made  in  the  bush  where  the  body  was  buried_ 
It  is  usual  to  "  wet  the  grave "  with  the  blood  of  a  freeman  of 
respectability.  All  the  retainers  of  the  family  being  present,  and 
the  heads  of  all  the  victims  deposited  in  the  bottom  of  the  grave, 

"  'AAAa  fjisv ,  otpgct  xc  rot  fiEXirjSea  olvov  hstxai, 
'12f  0";r£io")j5  Aii'  Trargt  xai  aAAoij  aSavKToicri 
Ylg&TOV  sTTsna  8s  x'ctvTos  wijVeai,  a"  xe  7ri'i](rO«'  "    OfJ-fip,  §■ 


288  MISSION  TO  ASHA.NTEE. 

several  are  unsuspectingly  called  on  in  a  hurry  to  assist  in  placing 
the  coffin  or  basket,  and  just  as  it  rests  on  the  heads  or  skulls,  a  slave 
from  behind  stuns  one  of  these  freemen  by  a  violent  blow,  followed 
by  a  deep  gash  in  the  back  part  of  the  neck,  and  he  is  rolled  in  on 
the  top  of  the  body,  and  the  grave  instantly  filled  up.  A  sort  of 
carnival,  varied  by  firing,  drinking,  singing,  and  dancing,  was  kept 
up  in  Assafoo  for  several  days  ;  the  chiefs  generally  visiting  it 
every  evening,  or  sending  their  linguists  with  a  dash  of  palm  wine 
or  rum  to  Quatchie  Quofie ;  and  I  was  given  to  understand,  that, 
but  for  the  approaching  war  and  the  necessary  economy  of 
powder,  there  would  have  been  eight  great  customs  instead  of  one, 
for  this  woman,  one  weekly,  the  King  himself  firing  at  the  last. 
The  last  day,  ail  the  females  in  any  way  connected  with  the  fandly 
(who  are  not  allowed  to  eat  for  three  days  after  the  death,  though 
they  may  drink  as  much  palm  wine  as  they  please,)  paraded  round 
the  town,  singing  a  compliment  and  thanks  to  all  those  who  had 
assisted  in  making  the  custom. 

On  the  death  of  a  King,  all  the  Customs  which  have  been  made 
for  the  subjects  who  have  died  during  his  reign,  must  be  simulta- 
neously repeated  by  the  families,  (the  human  sacrifices  as  well  as  the 
carousals  and  pageantry)  to  amplify  that  for  the  monarch,  which 
is  also  solemnised,  independently,  but  at  the  same  time,  in  every 
excess  of  extravagance  and  barbarity.  The  brothers,  sons,  and 
nephews  of  the  King,  affecting  temporary  insanity,  burst  forth  with 
their  muskets,  and  fire  promiscously  amongst  the  crowd  ;  even  a 
man  of  rank,  if  they  meet  him,  is  their  victim,  nor  is  their  murder 
of  him  or  any  other,  on  such  an  occasion,  visited  or  prevented ; 
the  scene  can  scarcely  be  imagined.  Few  persons  of  rank  dare  to 
stir  from  their  houses  for  the  first  two  or  three  days,  but  religiously 
drive  forth  all  their  vassals  and  slaves,  as  the  most  acceptable 
composition  of  their  own  absence.    The  King's  Ocras,  who  will  be 


CUSTOMS.  289 

mentioned  presently,  are  all  murdered  on  his  tomb,  to  the  number 
of  a  hundred  or  more,  and  women  in  abundance.  I  was  assured 
by  several,  that  the  custom  for  Sai  Quamina,  was  repeated  weekly 
for  three  months,  and  that  two  hundred  slaves  Avere  sacrificed, 
and  25  barrels  of  powder  fired,  each  time.  But  the  custom 
for  the  King's  mother,  the  regent  of  the  kingdom  during  the  inva- 
sion of  Eantee,  is  most  celebrated.  The  King  of  himself  devoted 
3000  victims,  (upwards  of  2000  of  whom  were  Fantee  prisoners) 
and  25  barrels  of  powder.*  Dwabin,  Kokoofoo,  Becqua,  Soota, 
and  Marmpong,  furnished  100  victims,  and  20  barrels  of  powder, 
each,  and  most  of  the  smaller  towns  10  victims,  and  two  barrels  of 
powder,  each.  The  Kings,  and  Kings  only,  are  buried  in  the 
cemetery  at  Bantama,  and  the  sacred  gold  buried  with  them  ;  (see 
Laws ;)  their  bones  are  afterwards  deposited  in  a  building  there, 
opposite  to  which  is  the  largest  brass  pan  I  ever  saw,  (for  sacri- 
fices,) being  about  five  feet  in  diameter,  with  four  small  lions  on 
the  edge.  Here  human  sacrifices  are  frequent  and  ordinary,  to 
water  the  graves  of  the  Kings.  The  bodies  of  chiefs  are  frequently 
carried  about  with  the'  army,  to  keep  them  for  interment  at  home, 
and  eminent  revulters  or  enemies  also,  to  be  exposed  in  the  capital. 
Boiteam,  (the  father  of  Otee  the  fourth  linguist,)  who  accom])anied 
the  army  jof  Abiniowa  in  his  political  capacity,  dying  at  Akrofroom 
in  Aquapim,  during  the  campaign,  his  body  was  kept  with  the 
army  two  months  before  it  arrived  at  Coomassie.  I  could  not  get 
any  information  on  their  treatment  of  the  corpse,  beyond  their 
invariable  reply  that  they  smoked  it  well  over  a  slow  fire. 

'J'he  laws  of  Ashantee  allow  the  King  3333  wives,  which  number 
is  carefully  kept  up,  to  enable  him  to  present  women  to  those- who 

*  Suetonius  tells  us  that  Augustus  sacrificed  300  of  the  principal  citizens  of  Pcrusia, 
to  the  manes  of  his  uncle  Julius,  We  read  in  Prevost,  that  64080  persons  were  sacri- 
ficed, with  aggravated  barbarity,  in  the  dedication  of  a  temple  in  Mexico. 

P  p 


290  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

distinguish  themselves,  but  never  exceeded,  being  in  their  eyes  a 
mystical  one.  Many  of  these  reside  in  a  secluded  part  of  the 
King's  croom,  or  country  residence,  at  Barramang;  a  greater 
number  in  a  croom,  at  the  back  of  the  palace,  immediately  in  the 
marsh ;  and  the  remainder  in  two  streets  of  the  capital.  Many, 
probably,  the  King  has  never  seen.  The  streets  as  well  as  the 
croom,  are  inhabited  by  them  exclusively,  and  never  approached 
but  by  the  King's  messengers,  or  their  female  relatives,  who  only 
communicate  with  them  at  the  entrances,  which  are  closed  at  each 
end  with  bamboo  doors,  where  there  is  always  a  guard.  If  the 
King  co7isazt's  or  marries  an  infant  at  the  breast,  which  is  not 
unfrequent,  she  is  thenceforth  confined  to  the  house,  and  rigorously 
secluded  from  the  sight  of  any  but  the  female  part  of  her  family. 
The  King  has  seldom  more  than  six  wives  resident  with  him  in  the 
palace.  On  the  occasion  of  signing  the  treaty,  as  explained  in  the 
public  letter,  about  300  were  assembled,  and  none  but  the  King's 
Chamberlain,  and  the  deputies  of  the  parts  of  the  government, 
were  allowed  to  be  present :  they  were  addressed  through  their 
own  linguist,  a  very  decrepid  old  man ;  many  of  them  were  very 
handsome,  and  their  figures  exquisite.  When  they  go  out,  which 
is  seldom,  they  are  encircled  and  preceded  by  troops  of  small  boys 
with  thongs  or  whips  of  elephants  hide,  who  lash  every  one  severely 
who  does  not  quit  their  path  for  another,  or  jump  into  the  bush 
with  his  hands  before  his  eyes  ;  and  sometimes  the  offenders  are 
heavily  fined  besides.  The  scrambling  their  approach  occasioned, 
in  the  more  pubhc  parts  of  the  city,  was  very  diverting;  captains, 
caboceers,  slaves,  and  children  tumbling  one  over  another.  I  was 
told  what  it  cost  the  King  daily  to  support  them,  but  it  has  escaped 
me  ;  they  are  said  to  live  as  daintily  as  himself.  None  but  the  chief 
eunuch,  an  immense  creature,  is  allowed  to  bear  a  message  to  the 
King  when  in  the  seraglio  of  the  palace. 


CUSTOMS.  291 

It  has  been  mentioned  before,  that  the  King's  sisters  are  not 
only  countenanced  in  intrigue,  with  any  handsome  subject,  but 
they  are  allowed  to  choose  any  eminently  so,  (however  inferior 
otherwise,)  as  a  husband ;  who  is  presently  advised  by  the  King 
of  his  good  fortune ;  thus  they  consider  they  provide  for  a  per- 
sonal superiority  in  their  monarchs.  But  if  the  royal  bride  dies 
before  the  husband,  unless  his  rank  be  originally  elevated,  he  is 
expected  to  kill  himself  on  the  occasion,  and  also  if  the  only  male 
child  dies :  if  he  hesitates,  he  is  peremptorily  reminded  that  as 
either  are  his  superiors,  to  whom  he  is  to  be  considered  as  a  slave, 
so  he  must  attend  them  wherever  they  go  ;  and  when  a  male  child 
is  born,  the  father  does  it  homage  and  acknowledges  his  vassalage 
in  the  most  abject  manner. 

The  Ocra's  are  distinguished  by  a  large  circle  of  gold  suspended 
from  the  neck ;  many  of  them  are  favourite  slaves,  many,  com- 
moners who  have  distinguished  themselves,  and  Avho  are  glad  to 
stake  their  lives  on  the  King's,  to  be  kept  free  from  palavers  and 
supported  by  his  bounty,  which  they  are  entirely ;  some  few  are 
relatives  and  men  of  rank.  All  of  the  two  former  classes,  excepting 
only  the  two  or  three  individuals  known  to  have  been  entrusted 
with  the  King's  state  secrets,  are  sacrificed  on  his  tomb.  The  royal 
messengers,  and  others  of  the  suite  have  been  described  in  the  pro- 
cessions; they  are  sometimes  fed  in  the  palace,  but  they  have  a  free 
seat  at  the  table  of  every  subject. 

The  King  has  a  troop  of  small  boys,  who  carry  the  fetish  bows 
and  arrows,  and  are  licensed  plunderers ;  they  are  so  sly  and 
nimble,  that  it  is  very  diverting  to  watch  them  in  the  market  place, 
Avhich  they  infest  every  morning.  Whatever  they  can  carry  off  is 
fair  game,  and  cannot  be  required  or  recovered  ;  but  the  loser,  if 
he  can  catch  them  before  they  arrive  at  the  palace,  may  beat  them 
as  severely  as  he  pleases,  short  of  mortal  injury ;  however,  they 


292  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

bear  it  as  obdurately  as  young  Spartans,  Sometimes  one  party 
trips  up  a  person  with  a  load  of  provisions,  whilst  another  scrambles 
them  up  :  the  anxious  alarm  of  the  market  people,  sitting  with 
sticks  in  their  hands,  and  the  comic  archness  of  these  boys  thread- 
ing the  crowd  in  all  directions,  is  indescribable.  Some  of  the 
earliest  European  travellers  in  Abyssinia  met  with  a  similar  troop 
of  royal  plunderers,  and  I  believe  suffered  from  them ;  our  pro- 
perty was  always  respected  by  them,  but  they  used  to  entertain 
themselves  with  mimicking  our  common  expressions  and  our  actions, 
which  they  did  inimitably  :  whilst  sketching,  they  buzzed  about  me 
like  musquitoes.  The  Ashantees  are  without  exception  the  most 
surprising  mimics  I  have  ever  heard.  I  have  known  a  captain, 
called  Adoo  Quamina,  repeat  a  sentence  after  I  had  finished  it,  of 
at  least  a  dozen  words,  which  he  knew  nothing  about,  and  had  not 
heard  before.  The  King  has  a  sort  of  butfoon,  whose  movements 
were  as  irresistibly  comic  as  those  of  Grimaldi. 

The  King  appeared  to  have  nearly  a  hundred  negroes  of  different 
colors,  through  the  shades  of  red  and  pink  to  Avhite;  they  were 
collected  for  state,  but  were  generally  disgusting  objects,  diseased 
and  emaciated  ;  they  always  seemed  as  if  going  to  shed  their  skins, 
and  their  eyes  blinked  in  the  light,  as  if  it  was  not  their  element. 

About  twenty  pots  of  while  soup,  and  twenty  pots  of  black 
(made  with  palm  nuts)  are  cooked  daily  at  the  palace,  (besides 
those  for  the  consumption  of  the  household,)  for  visitors  of  conse- 
quence, and  a  periguin  of  gold  is  given  daily  to  Yokokroko,  the 
chamberlain,  for  palm  wine.  This  would  have  appeared  too  large 
a  sum,  had  I  not  witnessed  the  vast  consumption  and  waste  of  it ; 
for  the  vigour  of  an  Ashantee  being  estimated  by  the  measure  of 
the  draught  he  can  drink  off;  nearly  half  is  generally  spilt  over 
his  beard,  which  it  is  his  greatest  pride  and  luxury  to  draw  through 
his  fingers  when  wet.     The  King  was  very  proud  of  the  superior 


CUSTOMS.  293 

length  of  his  beard.  A  large  cjuantity  of  palm  wine  is  dashed  to 
the  retinues  of  all  the  captains  attending  in  the  course  of  the  day ; 
much  is  expended  in  the  almost  daily  ceremony  of  drinking  it  in 
state  in  the  market  place ;  and  our  party  was  always  well  provided 
for  in  the  course  of  the  evening.  The  palm  wine  at  the  palace 
was  seldom  good,  but  a  zest  was  excited  by  the  exquisite  pohsh  of 
the  plate  in  which  it  was  served.  Apokoo,  Odumata,  and  others, 
sent  us  some  daily  that  was  excellent. 

It  is  to  be  observed  that  the  King's  weights  are  one  third  heavier 
than  the  current  weights  of  the  country  ;  and  all  the  gold  ex]:)ended 
in  provision  being  weighed  out  in  the  foi'mer,  and  laid  out  in  the 
latter,  the  difference  enriches  the  chamberlain,  cook,  and  chief 
domestic  officers  of  the  palace,  as  it  is  thought  derogatory  to  a 
King  avowedly  to  pay  his  subjects  for  their  services.  In  the  same 
manner  the  linguists  derive  the  greater  part  of  their  incomes,  (their 
influence  being  occasionally  purchased,)  for  all  the  dashes  or 
presents  of  gold  the  King  makes  in  the  year,  are  weighed  out  by 
the  royal  weights,  and  re-weighed  by  them  in  the  current  ones. 
The  law  allows  a  debtor  to  recover  of  a  reluctant  or  tardy  creditor, 
in  the  King's  weights,  besides  the  interest,  (noticed  in  the  laws,)  if 
he  is  esteemed  enough  by  Apokoo  the  treasurer,  to  be  trusted  with 
them ;  or  rather,  if  he  can  afford  to  bribe  him,  or  engages  to  share 
t\\e  profit  with  him. 

After  a  subject  is  executed  for  crime,  the  body  and  head  are 
carried  out  of  town  by  some  of  the  King's  slaves,  appointed  for 
that  purpose,  and  thrown  where  the  wild  beasts  may  devour  them; 
but  if  the  deceased  be  of  any  cons^-quence,  some  of  his  friends 
conceal  themselves  near  where  they  know  the  body  will  be  carried, 
and  purchase  it,  and  the  right  of  burial,  of  these  domestics,  gene- 
rally for  eight  ackjes.  Tiiere  are  a  number  of  fine  large  sheep, 
decorated  with  bells  and  other  ornaments,  about  the  palace.     If 


294  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

any  person  gets  into  an  ordinary  palaver,  and  wishes  the  King's 
interference  in  his  favor,  he  goes  to  the  captain  who  has  the 
charge  of  these  sheep,  pays  him  20  ackies  for  one,  and  sends  or 
takes  it  to  the  King,  as  a  dash,  who  commits  it  again  to  the  care 
of  the  captain. 

When  the  King  sends  an  ambassador,  he  enriches  the  splendor 
of  his  suite  and  attire  as  much  as  possible  ;  sometimes  provides  it 
entirely  ;  but  it  is  all  surrendered  on  the  return,  (except  the  addi- 
tional wives)  and  forms  a  sort  of  public  state  wardrobe.  The  King's 
system  of  espionage  is  much  spoken  of  (for  its  address  and  infal- 
libility) by  Apokoo  and  others,  who  abet  it.  A  shrewd  but  mean 
boy  is  attached  to,  or  follows  the  embassy,  (sometimes  with  a 
trader,)  in  the  commonest  capacity  and  meanest  attire ;  and  he  is 
instructed  to  collect  every  report  as  he  passes,  and  to  watch  the 
motions  of  the  embassy  as  closely  as  possible.  As  the  extortions 
of  these  deputies  are  always  loudly  and  publicly  complained  of  by 
the  injured  inhabitants  of  the  dependent  or  tributary  crooms  they 
pass  through,  (perhaps  being  aware  they  will  reach  the  King's 
ears,)  the  particulars  are  easily  acquired.  The  messengers  who 
were  sent  with  our  first  dispatches  to  Cape  Coast,  excusing  the 
length  of  the  time,  (forty  days)  by  alleging  that  it  was  found 
necessary  to  collect  a  session  of  the  Fantee  caboceers  at  Paintree ; 
the  King  replied,  "  You  tell  me  a  lie ;  you  fined  a  captain  there 
four  ounces  for  breaking  an  Ashantee  law,  and  you  waited  to 
procure  and  expend  the  gold,  not  intending  it  should  be  known." 
The  men  instantly  confessed,  and  were  put  in  irons  ;  one  was  the 
brother  of  Yokokroko,  who  paid  six  ounces  for  his  release,  after 
several  days. 

When  the  King  spits,  the  boys  with  the  elephants  tails  sedulously 
wipe  it  up,  or  cover  it  with  sand  ;  when  he  sneezes,  every  person 
present  touches,  or  lays  the  two  first  fingers  across  the  forehead 


CUSTOMS.  295 

and  breast,  as  the  Moors  did  when  they  pronounced  a  blessing, 
and  the  Ashantees,  invariably,  to  propitiate  one.  These  troops  of 
boys  who  carry  the  elephants  tails,  are  the  sons  of  men  of  rank 
and  confidence ;  for  whenever  the  King  dignifies  a  deserving  sub- 
ject, with  what  may  be  termed  nobility,  he  exchanges  some  of 
his  own  sons  or  nephews,  (from  eight  to  fourteen  years  of  age,)  for 
those  of  the  individual,  who  maintains  them,  and  for  whom  they 
perform  the  same  offices,  as  his  own  and  others  do  for  the  King. 
Thus  the  present  King  (the  short  reign  of  his  brother  Sa'i  Apokoo 
being  unanticipated)  carried  an  elephants  tail  before  Apokoo, 
whose  kindness  and  indulgence  to  the  child  secured  the  preference 
of  the  monarch. 

It  is  a  frequent  practice  of  the  King's,  to  consign  sums  of  gold 
to  the  care  of  rising  captains,  without  requiring  them  from  them 
for  two  or  three  years,  at  the  end  of  which  time  he  expects  the 
captain  not  only  to  restore  the  principal,  but  to  prove  that  he  has 
acquired  sufficient  of  his  own,  from  the  use  of  it,  to  support  the 
greater  dignity  the  King  would  confer  on  him.  If  he  has  not,  his 
talent  is  thought  too  mean  for  further  elevation.  Should  he  have 
no  good  traders  amongst  his  dependents,  (for  if  he  has  there  is  no 
difficulty)  usury  and  worse  resources  are  countenanced,  and 
thought  more  creditable  than  a  failure,  ascribed  to  want  of  talent 
rather  than  to  a  regard  of  principle. 

The  fees  to  the  King's  household  on  a  captain  being  raised  to  a 
stool,  are  generally  eight  ounces.  I  saw  two  instances  of  the 
HtKing  paying  them  himself;  the  individuals,  very  suddenly  elevated 
|for  extraordinary  courage,  being  too  poor  to  do  so.  They  were 
immediately  dispatched  to  collect  tributes,  the  per  centage  on 
which,  (see  Laws,)  and  the  douceurs,  which  may  be  judged  of  by 
the  amount  provided  for  them  in  the  settlement  of  the  Commenda 
palaver,  would  possess  them  of  a  good  sum  to  begin  with. 


296  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

The  interference  of  Amanquatea,  Quatchie  Quofie,  Odumata, 
and  Apokoo,  is  purchased  at  a  most  extravagant  rate  by  offenders, 
whether  foreigners  or  subjects  ;  it  is  irresistible  with  the  King  ; 
Apokoo  is  generally  preferred  ;  minor  influence  is  purchased  in 
proportion.  No  subject  can  sit  in  public  with  a  cushion  on  his 
stool,  unless  it  has  been  presented  to  him  by  the  King,  or  one  of 
the  four,  who,  as  well  as  all  the  other  superior  captains,  receive  a 
periguin  of  gold  for  every  oath  the  King  exacts  of  them. 

During  the  minority,  or  the  earlier  part  of  the  reign  of  a  monarch, 
the  linguists  and  oldest  counsellors  visit  him  betimes  every  morn- 
ing,  and  repeat,  in  turn,  all  the  great  deeds  of  his  ancestors.  The 
greatest  deference  seemed  to  be  paid  to  aged  experience  or  wisdom. 
Apokoo  is  the  keeper  of  the  royal  treasury,  and  has  the  care  of 
all  the  tributes,  which  are  deposited,  separately,  in  a  large  apart- 
ment of  the  palace,  of  which  he  only  has  the  key.  Numerous  and 
various  as  the  sums  are,  he  disposes  of  them  by  a  local  association 
which  is  said  to  be  infallible  with  him,  for  the  Moorisii  secretary, 
(who  resided  some  time  at  Hio,)  only  records  the  greater  political 
events.  Apokoo  holds  a  sort  of  exchequer  court  at  his  own  house 
daily,  (when  he  is  attended  by  two  of  the  King's  linguists,  and 
various  state  insignia,)  to  decide  all  cases  affecting  tribute  or 
revenue,  and  the  appeal  to  the  King  is  seldom  resorted  to.  He 
generally  rechned  on  his  lofty  bed,  (of  accumulated  cushions,  and 
covered  with  a  large  rich  cloth  or  piece  of  silk,)  with  two  or  three 
of  his  handsomest  wives  near  him,  whilst  the  pleadings  were  going 
forward.  He  was  always  much  gratified  when  I  attended,  an 
rose  to  seat  me  beside  him.  I  observed  that  all  Calculations  wen 
made,  explained,  and  recorded,  by  cowries.  In  one  instance,  after 
being  convinced  by  a  variety  of  evidence  that  a  public  debtor  was 
unable  to  pay  gold,  he  commuted  sixteen  ounces  of  gold,  for  twenty 
men  slaves.     Several  captains,  Avho  were  his  followers,  attended 


8  , 

f 


CUSTOMS.  297 

this  court  daily  with  large  suites,  and  it  was  not  only  a  crowded, 
but  frequently  a  splendid  scene.  Before  the  footoorh  or  treasury 
bag  is  unlocked  by  the  weigher,  though  it  be  by  the  King's  order, 
Apokoo  must  strike  it  with  his  hand  in  sanction. 

In  all  public  trials,  the  charges  are  preferred,  in  outline,  against 
the  criminal  by  the  King's  linguists,  and  he  is  always  heard  fully, 
and  obliged  to  commit  or  exculpate  himself  on  every  point,  and  to 
take  the  various  primary  oaths,  before  the  Avitnesses  are  confronted 
with  him ;  of  whom  he  is  kept  as  ignorant  as  possible  until  the 
moment  of  their  appearance.  The  oaths,  sometimes  four  or  five, 
are  progressive,  generally  beginning  by  the  King's  foot,  or  some 
arbitrary  form,  and  are,  apparently,  not  considereda  wful  or  deci- 
sive; such  perjuries  being  commutable  by  fine.  But  when  the  oath, 
"  by  the  King's  father,"  is  administered,  every  one  looks  serious, 
and  if,  "  by  Cormantee  and  Saturday"  (see  History)  is  resorted  to, 
there  is  a  gloomy  silence;  but  this  is  seldom  ventured,  if  the  wit- 
nesses, (hurried  in  with  a  sort  of  stage  effect  between  that  and  the 
former  oaths,)  confound  or  perplex  the  accused, 

There  are  various  ways  of  taking  fetish;  the  two  I  observed, 
were,  licking  a  white  fowl  twice  or  thrice,  and  drinking  a  nauseous 
vegetable  juice  without  coughing:  it  was  administered  by  the 
linguists  out  of  a  brass  pan  in  a  folded  leaf  of  the  plant.  If  the 
accused  is  cleared,  he  comes  forward,  and  is  marked  with  white 
chalk  by  the  linguists,  after  which  he  bows  to,  and  thanks  all  the 
great  men  in  the  council.  Taking  doom  is  the  infallible  test,  when 
they  consider  the  case  to  be  too  doubtful  for  human  decision.  The 
bark  of  that  tree  is  put  into  a  large  calabash  with  water,  so  as 
to  make  a  strong  infusion ;  it  is  stirred  up  whilst  the  suspected 
parties  sip  in  turn,  It  operates,  instantaneously  and  convulsively, 
as  a  most  violent  emetic  and   purge;   those  who  sip  first  may 


298  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.      . 

recover,   and    the   dregs    are   frequently   left   designedly   for   the 
obnoxious.* 

The  criers,  upwards  of  a  hundred,  who  always  attend  the  linguists, 
are  all  deformed  or  maimed,  to  make  them  more  conspicuous ; 
they  wear  a  monkey  skin  cap,  with  a  gold  plate  in  front,  and  the 
tail  hanging  down  behind.  Their  common  exclamations  are, 
'  Tehoo  !  Tehing !  Odiddee !  Be  silent !  Be  quiet !  Pray  hear !  and 
these  are  so  incessantly  uttered,  that  they  are  themselves  the  only 
interruption.  Several  less  interesting  peculiarities  are  represented 
in  the  drawings  of  the  Yam  Custom,  and  associated  with  other 
subjects. 

A  general  is  appointed  to  the  command  of  an  army  b}"^  receiving 
a  gold  handled  sword  of  the  King's  from  his  hand,  (who  strikes 
him  gently  with  it  three  times  on  the  head,)  swearing  to  return  it 
encrusted  with  the  blood  of  his  conquered  enemies.  One  of  the 
King's  linguists  always-  accompanies  an  army  of  any  consequence, 
to  whom  all  the  politics  of  the  war  are  entrusted,  and  whose  talent 
and  intelligence  in  negotiating,  are  expected  to  mature  the  fruits 
of  the  military  genius  of  the  general,  and  to  reimburse  the  expense 
of  the  war  by  heavy  fines  and  contributions.  The  Ashantees  are 
as  superior  in  discipline  as  in  courage  to  the  people  of  the  water 
side,  though  their  discipline  is  limited  to  the  following  precautions. 
They  never»pursue  when  it  is  near  sun  set ;  the  general  is  always 
in  the  rear;  the  secondary  captains  lead  the  soldiers  on,  whilst 
those  in  command,  with  a  few  chosen  individuals,  urge  them  for- 
ward from  the  rear  with  their  heavy  swords,  and  cut  any  man 
down  Avho  retreats  until  the  case  is  desperate.    The  first  object  of 

*  In  the  Warsaw  country  tliere  is  said  to  be  a  more  dreadful  poison  called  Sabe :  if 
it  is  thrown  upon  the  skin,  it  is  absorbed  by  the  pores,  and  has  nearly  the  same  instan- 
taneous mortal  effect  as  when  given  internally. 


CUSTOMS.  299 

the  Ashantee  in  close  fight,  is,  to  fire  and  spring  upon  the  throat 
of  his  enemy  ;  to  advance  every  time  he  fires  he  feels  to  be  impera- 
tive, if  his  commander  thinks  it  possible,  Avho  would,  otherwise,  if 
he  escaped  death  in  the  action,  inflict  it  on  him  directly  it  was 
over.  It  is  one  of  the  sentences  of  the  most  popular  song  in  Coo- 
massie,  "  if  I  fight  I  die,  if  I  run  away  I  die,  better  I  go  on  and 
die."  They  are  as  the  antient  Spaniards  have  been  described, 
"  prodiga  gens  animee  et  properare  facillima  mortem."  The  general 
has  his  umbrella  spread  in  the  rear, 'and,  besides  his  guard,  has 
several  extra  muskets  ready  loaded  for  those  soldiers  who  may  be 
driven  to  him  in  case  of  reverse.  His  band  plays  all  the  time,  and 
in  his  assumed  contempt  for  the  enemy,  it  is  the  etiquette  for  him 
to  divert  himself  at  some  game,  whilst  the  heads  of  the  slain  of  any 
rank  in  the  hostile  army  are  sent  to  hint* to  put  his  foot  on.  When 
the  result  of  an  important  action  is  expected,  even  with  an  anxiety 
by  no  means  sanguine,  lyid  the  messengers  are  known  to  be  near 
the  capital,  the  King  is  always  seated  in  public,  with  his  golden 
worra  board  before  him,  plaj'ing  with  some  dignitary  ;  and  thus 
receives  the  news,  to  impress  the  people  with  confidence  by  his 
affected  indifiference  to  victory  or  defeat,  when  superstition  had 
revealed  and  fated  inevitable  success  ultimately 

All  the  superior  captains  have  peculiar  flourishes  or  strains  for 
their  horns,  adapted  to  short  sentences,  which  are  always  recog- 
nised, and  will  be  repeated  on  enquiry  by  any  Ashantee  you  may 
meet  walking  in  the  streets,  though  the  horns  are  not  only  out  of 
sight,  but  at  a  distance  to  be  scarcely  audible.  These  flourishes 
are  of  a  strong  and  distinct  character.  The  King's  horns  uttered, 
"  I  pass  all  Kings  in  the  world."  Apokoo's,  "  Ashantees,  do  you 
do  right  now?"  Gimma's,  "  Whilst  I  live  no  harm  can  come." 
Bundahenna's,  "  I  am  a  great  King's  son."  Amanqua's,  "  No  one 
dares  trouble  me."    This  will  be  further  noticed  in  the  chapter  on 


300  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Music.  These  peculiar  flourishes  are  more  particularly  for  their 
government  in  action,  for  all  the  soldiery,  indeed  I  might  say  all 
the  women  and  children,  being  familiar  with  every  flourish,  the 
positions  of  the  various  chiefs  are  judged  of  when  the}-^  cannot  be 
seen;  whether  they  are  advancing,  falling  back,  or  attempting  to 
flank  the  enemy  by  penetrating  the  woods,  is  known,  and  the 
movements  of  all  the  others  become  co-operative,  as  much  as  pos- 
sible. The  King's  horns  go  to  the  market  place  every  night,  as  near 
to  midnight  as  they  can  judge,  and  flourish  a  very  peculiar  strain, 
which  was  rendered  to  me,  "  King  Sai  thanks  all  his  captains  and 
all  his  people  for  to-day." 

Several  of  the  hearts  of  the  enemy  are  cut  out  by  the  fetish  men 
who  follow  the  army,  and  the  blood  and  small  pieces  being  mixed, 
(with  much  ceremony  and  incantation,)  with  various  consecrated 
herbs,  all  those  who  have  never  killed  an  enemy  before  eat  a  por- 
tion, for  it  is  believed  that  if  they  did  not,  their  vigor  and  courage 
would  be  secretly  wasted  by  the  haunting  spirit  of  the  deceased. 
It  was  said  that  the  King  and  all  the  dignitaries  partook  of  the 
heart  of  any  celebrated  enemy;  this  was  only  whispered;  that  they 
wore  the  smaller  joints,  bones,  and  the  teeth  of  the  slain  monarchs 
was  evident  as  well  as  boasted.  One  man  was  pointed  out  to  me, 
as  always  eating  the  heart  of  the  enemy  he  killed  with  his  own 
hand.  The  number  of  an  army  is  ascertained  or  preserved  in 
cowries  or  coin  by  Apokoo.  When  a  successful  general  returns, 
he  waits  about  two  days  at  a  short  distance  from  the  capital,  to 
receive  the  King's  compliments,  and  to  collect  all  the  splendor 
possible  for  his  entree,  to  encourage  the  army  and  infatuate  the 
people.  The  most  famous  generals  are  distinguished  by  the  addi- 
tion of  warlike  names,  more  terrific  than  glorious,  as  they  designate 
their  manner  of  destroying  their  jirisoners.  Apokoo  was  called 
Abo'awassa,  because  he  was  in  the  habit  of  cutting  off  th^r  arms. 


CUSTOMS.  301 

Appia,  Sheaboo,  as  he  beats  their  heads  in  pieces  with  a  stone. 
Amanqua,  Abiniowa,  as  he  cuts  off  their  legs. 

The  army  is  prohibited  during  the  active  parts  of  a  campaign, 
from  all  food  but  meal,  which  each  man  carries  in  a  small  bag  at 
his  side,  and  mixes  in  his  hands  with  the  first  water  he  comes  to; 
this,  they  allege,  is  to  prevent  cooking  fires  from  betraying  their 
position,  or  anticipating  a  surprise.  In  the  intervals,  (for  this  meal 
is  seldom  eaten  more  than  once  a  day,)  they  chew  the  boossee  or 
gooroo  nut.  This  meal  is  vevy  nourishing  and  soon  satisfies;  we 
tried  it  on  our  march  down.  Ashantee  spies  have  been  stationed 
three  and  four  days  in  the  high  trees  overlooking  Cape  Coast 
Castle,  with  no  other  supply  than  this  meal  and  a  little  water, 
before  the  army  has  shewn  itself.  There  is  always  a  distinct  body 
of  recruits  wMth  the  army,  to  dispatch  those  with  their  knives  whom 
the  musket  has  only  wounded,  and  they  are  all  expected  to  return 
well  armed  from  despoiling  the  enemy,  or  they  are  not  esteemed 
of  promise,  and  dismissed  to  some  servile  occupation.  I  could  not 
find  that  they  had  any  idea  of  fortifications,  though  undoubtedly 
common  to  the  large  cities  on  the  Niger. 

It  is  the  invariable  policy  of  Ashantee  to  make  the  contingency 
of  the  power  last  subdued,  the  revolters  recently  quelled,  or  the^ 
allies  last  accepted,  the  van  of  their  army  throughout  the  campaign, 
and  very  frequently  there  are  no  Ashantees  but  captains  with  the' 
army  ;  but  it  is  composed  entirely  of  tributaries  and  allies.  Thus 
Odumata  subdued  Banda  Avith  an  army  of  Gamans.  In  the 
Ashantee  body  of  the  army,  which  is  alwa3's  that  of  reserve,  the 
youngest  or  last  made  captain  marches  and  engages  first,  and  the 
others  follow  seriatim,  until  Odumata  precedes  Quatchie  Quofie, 
Amanqua  follows  him,  and  Apokoo  precedes  the  King.  Were  the 
country  generally  open,  I  have  no  doubt,  necessity  and  their  mili- 
tary genius  would  have  suggested  greater  arrangement  and  com- 


302  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

pactness  in  their  movement,  which  is  nevertheless  very  orderly. 
Two  divisions  of  an  army  are  rarely  allowed  to  go  the  same  path, 
lest,  being  in  want  of  supplies,  the  neighbourhood  should  prove 
inadequate.  Aboidwee,  our  house  master,  (see  correspondence  on 
the  Ashantee  suicide)  who  has  1700  retainers,  always  precedes  the 
King's  or  Apokoo's  division,  (which  will  exclusively  occupy  the 
Banda  path  in  the  invasion  of  Gaman)  to  raise  a  bamboo  house  for 
the  King's  reception  when  he  comes  up. 

Infants  are  frequently  married  to  infants,  for  the  connection  of 
families;  and  infants  are  as  frequently  M^edded  by  adults  and 
elderly  men.  The  ceremony  is  to  send  the  smaller  piece  of  cloth, 
worn  around  the  middle,  to  the  infant,  and  a  handsome  dash  of 
gold  to  the  mother,  as  her  care  then  ceases  to  be  a  duty,  but 
becomes  a  service  performed  to  the  husband,  who  also  sends  fre- 
quent presents  for  the  support  of  the  child.  Apokoo  told  me  it 
was  a  good  plan  for  a  man  to  adopt  who  wished  to  get  gold,  for  as 
the  circumstance  Avas  seldom  generally  known,  the  most  innocent 
freedom  when  the  girl  became  ten  or  eleven  years  old,  grounded  a 
palaver  against  the  individual,  though  he  might  consider  he  was  but 
fondling  a  child,  and  be  wholly  ignorant  of  her  marriage.  I  after- 
wards understood  from  several  others,  that  this  view  was  the 
leading  motive.* 

It  frequently  happens,  when  the  family  of  the  wife  is  too  powerful 
for  the  husband  to  venture  to  put  her  to  death  for  intrigue,  that  he 
takes  oft'  her  nose  as  a  stigma  and  punishment,  and  makes  her  the 
wife  of  one  of  his  slaves.  A  wife  who  betrays  a  secret  is  sure  to 
lose  her  upper  lip,  and,  if  discovered  listening  to  a  private  conver- 
sation of  her  husband's,  an  car.    Women  so  maimed  are  to  be  met 

*  On  the  Coast,  the  bride's  character  is  very  notoriously  pul)hshed,  for  part  of  tlie 
husband's  present  to  her  family  being  a  flask  of  rum,  and  that  not  sent  until  the  next  day; 
whether  it  is  brimful,  or  somewhat  wanting,  indicates  her  virginity,  or  early  frailty. 


CUSTOMS.  303 

with  in  all  parts  of  the  town.  Prostitutes  are  numerous  and 
countenanced.  No  Ashantee  forces  his  daughter  to  become  the 
wife  of  the  man  he  wishes,  but  he  instantly  disclaims  her  support 
and  protection  on  her  refusal,  and  would  persecute  the  mother  if 
she  afforded  it ,  thus  abandoned,  they  have  no  resource  but  prosti- 
tution. During  the  menses,  the  women  of  the  capital  retire  to  the 
plantations  or  crooms  in  the  bush.* 

In  visiting,  the  chief  always  gives  his  principal  slaves  a  tew  sips 
of  the  liquor  offered  to  him,  not  for  security,  for  it  is  more  fre- 
quently after  than  before  he  has  drank,  but  as  a  mark  of  his  favour. 
He  will  frequently  give  his  daughter  in  marriage  to  a  confidential 
slave,  but  where  there  are  a  few  thus  distinguished  and  indulged, 
(apparently  as  a  political  check  upon  a  heterogeneous  populace,) 
there  are  thousands  barely  existing. 

Their  principal  games  are  Worra-]-  (see  drawing.  No.  10.)  wt^ich 
I  could  not  understand,  and  Drafts,  which  both  Moors  and 
Negroes  play  well  and  constantly.  Their  method  resembles  the 
Polish,  they  take  and  move  backwards  and  forwards,  and  a  king 
has  the  bishop's  move  in  chess.  They  have  another  game,  for  which 
a  board  is  perforated  like  a  cribbage  board,  but  in  numerous 
oblique  lines,  traversing  each  other  in  all  directions,  and  each  com- 
posed of  three  holes  for  pegs ;  the  players  begin  at  the  same 
instant,  with  an  equal  number  of  pegs,  and  he  who  inserts  or 
completes  a  line  first,  in  spite  of  the  baulks  of  his  adversary,  takes 
a  peg  from  him,  until  the  stock  of  either  is  exhausted.     ' 

*  The  women  of  Ahanta,  on  the  same  occasion,  are  prohibited  from  entering  any  inha- 
bited place ;  and  if  tliey  attempt  to  go  into  a  house,  are  heavily  fined  or  punished.  If 
the  family  is  respectable,  they  generally  erect  a  temporary  shed  to  shelter  her  ;  the  poorer 
class  are  forced  to  endure  the  inclemencies  of  the  weather  without  any  retreat. 

•f-  This  game  is  said  to  be  played  in  Syria  also.  • 


304  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 


CHAPTER   VI. 


Architecture,  Arts,  and  Manufactures. 

1  H  E  construction  of  the  ornamental  architecture  of  Coomassie 
reminded  me  forcibly  of  the  ingenious  essay  of  Sir  James  Hall,  (in 
the  Edinburgh  Philosophical  Transactions,)  tracing  the  Gothic 
order  to  an  architectural  imitation  of  wicker  work.  The  drawings 
will  serve  to  shew  the  various  and  uncommon  character  of  their 
architectural  ornaments,  adopted  from  those  of  interior  countries, 
and,  confessedly,  in  no  degree  originating  with  themselves. 

In  building  a  house,  a  mould  was  made  for  receiving  the  swish 
or  clay,  by  two  rows  of  stakes  and  wattle  work,  placed  at  a  distance 
equal  to  the  intended  thickness  of  the  wall ;  as  two  mud  walls  were 
raised  at  convenient  distances,  to  receive  the  plum  pudding  stone 
which  formed  the  walls  of  the  vitrified  fortresses  in  Scotland.  The 
interval  was  then  filled  up  with  a  gravelly  clay,  mixed  with  water, 
with  Avhich  the  outward  surface  of  the  frame  or  stake  work  was 
also  thickly  plastered,  so  as  to  impose  the  appearance  of  an  entire 
thick  mud  wall.  The  houses  had  all  gable  ends,  and  three  thick 
poles  were  joined  to  each  ;  one  from  the  highest  point,  forming  the 
ridge  of  the  roof,  and  one  on  each  side,  from  the  base  of  the  tri- 
angular part  of  the  gable ;  these  supported  a  frame  work  of 
bamboo,  over  which  an  interwoven  thatch  of  palm  leaves  was  laid, 
and  tied  with  the  runners  of  trees,  first  to  the  large  poles  running 


ARCHITECTURE,  &c.  305 

from  gable  to  gable,  and  afterwards,  (within,)  to  the  interlacing  of 
the  bamboo  fi-ame  work,  which  was  painted  black  and  poUshed, 
so  as  to  look  much  better  than  any  rude  cieUng  would,  of  which 
they  have  no  idea ;  a  small  part  appears  in  the  houses  in  the 
drawing  of  Adoom-street  (No.  9-)  The  pillars,  which  assist  to 
support  the  roof,  and  form  the  proscenium  or  open  front,  (which 
none  but  captains  are  allowed  to  have  to  their  houses)  were  thick 
poles,  afterwards  squared  with  a  plastering  of  swish.  The  steps 
and  raised  floor  of  these  rooms  were  clay  and  stone,  with  a  thick 
layer  of  red  earth,  which  abounds  in  the  neighbourhood,  and  these 
were  washed  and  painted  daily,  Avith  an  infusion  of  the  same  earth 
in  water ;  it  has  all  the  appearance  of  red  ochre,  and  from  the 
abundance  of  iron  ore  in  the  neighbourhood,  I  do  not  doubt  it  is. 
The  walls  still  soft,  they  formed  moulds  or  frame  works  of  the 
patterns  in  dehcate  slips  of  cane,  connected  by  grass.  The  two 
first  slips  (one  end  of  each  being  inserted  in  the  soft  wall)  projected 
the  relief,  commonly  n)ezzo  :  the  interstices  were  then  filled  up  with 
the  plaster,  and  assumed  the  appearance  depicted.  The  poles  or 
pillars  were  sometimes  encircled  by  twists  of  cane,  intersecting 
each  other,  which,  being  filled  up  with  thin  plaster,  resembled  the 
lozenge  and  cable  ornaments  of  the  Anglo-Norman  order;  the 
quatre-foil  was  very  common,  and  by  no  means  rude,  from  the 
symmetrical  bend  of  the  cane  which  formed  it.  I  saw  a  few  pillars, 
(after  they  had  been  squared  with  the  plaster)  with  numerous  slips 
of  cane  pressed  perpendicularly  on  to  the  wet  surface,  which  being 
covered  again  with  a  very  thin  coat  of  plaster,  closely  resembled 
fluting.  When  they  formed  a  large  arch,  they  inserted  one  end  of 
a  thick  piece  of  cane  in  the  wet  clay  of  the  floor  or  base,  and 
bending  the  other  over,  inserted  it  in  the  same  manner;  the  enta- 
blature was  filled  up  with  wattle  work  plastered  over.  Arcades 
and  piazzas  were  common.   A  white  wash,  very  frequently  renewed, 

R  r 


306  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

was  made  from  a  clay  in  the  neighbourhood.  Of  course  the 
plastering  is  very  frail,  and  in  the  relief  frequently  discloses  the 
edges  of  the  cane,  giving  however  a  piquant  effect,  auxiliary  to  the 
ornament.  The  doors  were  an  entire  piece  of  cotton  wood,  cut 
with  great  labour  out  of  the  stems  or  buttresses  of  that  tree ;  battens 
variously  cut  and  painted  were  afterwards  nailed  across.  (See 
drawing,  No.  5.)  So  disproportionate  was  the  price  of  labour  to 
that  of  provision,  that  I  gave  but  two  tokoos  for  a  slab  of  cotton 
wood,  five  feet  by  three.  The  locks  they  use  are  from  Houssa,  and 
quite  original ;  one  will  be  sent  to  the  British  Museum.  Where 
they  raised  a  first  floor,  the  under  room  was  divided  into  two  by 
an  intersecting  wall,  to  support  the  rafters  for  the  upper  room, 
which  were  generally  covered  with  a  frame  work  thickly  plastered 
over  with  red  ochre.  I  saw  but  one  attempt  at  flooring  with  plank, 
it  was  cotton  wood  shaped  entirely  with  an  adze,  and  looked  like 
a  ship's  deck.  The  windows  were  open  wood  work,  carved  in 
fanciful  figures  and  intricate  patterns,  and  painted  red  ;  the  frames 
were  frequently  cased  in  gold,  about  as  thick  as  cartridge  paper. 

What  surprised  me  most,  and  is  not  the  least  of  the  many  cir- 
cumstances deciding  their  great  superiority  over  the  generality  of 
Negroes,  was  the  discov(?ry  that  every  house  had  its  cloacae,  besides 
the  common  ones  for  the  lower  orders  without  the  town.  They 
were  generally  situated  under  a  small  arch  way  in  the  most  retired 
angle  of  the  building,  but  not  unfrequently  up  stairs,  within  a 
separate  room  like  a  small  closet,  (see  drawing  No.  3.)  where  the 
large  hollow  pillar  also  assists  to  support  the  upper  stor}' :  the 
holes  are  of  a  small  circumference,  ))ut  dug  to  a  surprising  depth, 
and  boiling  water  is  daily  poured  down,  which  eflTectually  prevents 
the  least  offence.  The  rubbish  and  offal  of  each  house  was  burnt 
every  morning  at  the  back  of  the  street,  and  they  were  as  nice  and 
cleanly  in  their  dwellings  as  in  their  persons , 


ARCHITECTURE,  &c.  307 

Drawing  No.  3,  is  one  of  the  oldest  houses  in  Coomassie,  inhe- 
rited by  the  unfortunate  Bakkee,  and  part  of  the  quarters  of  the 
Mission.     Its  comparative  rudeness  is  evident. 

No.  4,  is  a  more  modern  part  of  the  same  house,  being  one  side 
of  a  small  area  about  15  feet  square,  allotted  to  the  chief  officer  of 
the  Embassy.  These  areas  are  all  distinct,  and  a  house  consists  of 
an  indefinite  number  of  them,  some  36  feet  square,  with  several 
long  courts.  In  paying  a  visit  to  a  principal  man,  the  state  was 
to  detain  us  some  minutes  at  the  door  of  each  area,  as  he  generally 
received  us  in  the  innermost.  The  figure  is  one  of  the  King's 
body  guards,  which  have  been  described  before.  The  figures  are 
introduced  to  shew  the  proportion  of  the  buildings,  and  to  give 
some  idea  of  the  costume. 

No.  5,  is  the  exterior  of  a  bed  room  of  Odumata's,  which  is  one 
side  of  an  oblong  area  in  a  very  retired  angle  of  his  house,  about 
25  feet  by  8.  The  cloth  suspended  to  the  left  of  the  door  on  the 
top  of  the  steps,  hides  the  bloody  stools  which  are  in  the  recess. 
The  small  gallery  in  front  of  the  upper  room  is  only  wide  enough 
for  one  person  to  walk  in.  The  recess  and  small  room  below  ac- 
commodate confidential  slaves.  The  bed  room  was  very  small,  about 
8  feet  square,  but  being  hung  round  with  a  variety  of  gold  and 
silver  ornaments,  had  a  very  rich  appearance.  The  bed  is  gene- 
rally about  5  feet  high,  and  composed  entirely  of  large  silk-cot- 
ton pillows  piled  one  above  another.  The  King  of  Gaman,  we 
were  assured,  had  steps  of  solid  gold  to  ascend  to  his  bed.  A  man 
wearing  a  crier's  cap,  is  playing  the  sanko. 

No.  6,  is  a  perspective  view  of  the  entrance  area  to  Apokoo's 
house  ;  the  fourth  side  is  an  open  fronted  building  like  those  on 
the  right  and  left  for  attendants  to  wait  in,  and  for  the  hearing  of 
palavers.  The  opposite  closed  side  is  a  bed  room.  The  figure  is 
playing  the  bentwa  (see  Music.) 


308  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

No.  7,  is  a  part  of  a  piazza,  which  hnes  the  interior  of  the  wall 
secluding  the  palace  from  the  street.  The  piazza  is  200  yards 
long,  and  inhabited  by  captains  and  other  attendants  on  the  King  ; 
above  is  a  small  gallery.  Piles  of  skulls,  and  drums  ornamented 
with  them,  are  frequent  in  this  piazza.  The  figure  is  a  common 
soldier  of  Ashantee,  his  belt  ornamented  with  red  shells,  and  stuck 
full  of  knives. 

No.  8,  is  the  upper  end  of  the  piazza,  which  is  mo-'e  ornamented, 
and  appropriated  to  the  superior  captains,  who  have  each  a  suite 
of  rooms,  rharked  by  the  small  doors  under  the  piazza.  A  woman 
is  dancing  whilst  a  man  plays  the  flute  and  rattle. 

No.  9^  is  a  view  of  part  of  Adoom-street :  each  open  front  denotes 
the  residence  of  a  captain,  being  used  for  talking  palavers,  receiv- 
ing strangers,  observing  or  superintending  customs,  and  evening 
recreation.  The  dwelling  is  entered- by  the  small  door  at  the  side, 
which  generally  leads  through  a  narrow  passage  or  court  to  a 
large  area  like  No.  6,  and  thence  by  various  intricate  waj^s  to 
smaller  and  more  retired  areas  like  No.  4  and  No.  o.  A  fetish  wo- 
man has  just  quitted  the  centre  house  ;  she  has  on  a  white  cloth, 
and  various  pieces  of  rich  silk  are  hanging  round  her  girdle,  her 
breasts  are  confined  with  a  scarf,  a  fillet  encircles  her  head,  in 
each  hand  she  waves  a  horse's  tail,  and  she  continues  yelling  and 
swinging  round  and  round  until  she  is  quite  stupified.  A  weaver 
and  loom  are  on  her  right,  and  a  market  woman  under  her  shed  on 
the  left. 

No.  10,  is  the  exterior  of  the  King's  bed  room,  being  one  side  of 
an  inner  area,  about  30  feet  square.  The  stunted  silk-cotton  and 
the  manchineal  tree  are  fetish  or  sacred,  as  are  the  white  and  red 
rags  at  the  top  of  the  pole,  and  the  small  brass  cups  supported  by 
the  forked  sticks.  The  colored  bags  hanging  over  the  round  doors 
(the  chequering  of  which  is  in  religft) -contain  Moorish  charms.  The 


IT  of  a  PllAXXA  in  the  PA]LACE. 


N'7. 


-ZJt»«,  ^■r.X£m!^.£,f. 


RT  of  a  FIAZZA  in  the  FAIL  AC  1 

fUi'Ushed,  jD&c7'2.JSAf.  fy  Ichn  Murray.  AlMm^rU  S£tw£. 


Ih-a:itm  fy  r.£.Sowd£.eh  £sqT 


Jfailishtd  DicTlJfJJ.  iy  A*i Murm:  Allcmarli  Sh-iei. 


I 

I 


ARCHITECTURE,  &c.  309 

carving  of  the  left  hand  window  is  cased  in  silver,  of  the  right  hand, 
in  gold.     The  two  men  are  playing  at  AVorra.    The  King  made 
frequent  enquiries  about  the  architecture  of  England,  of  which  we 
gave  him  some  idea  by  drawings.     He  was  very  fond  of  referring 
to  a  project  ascribed  to  Sai   Cudjo,  and  which  he  declared   he 
would  carry  into  effect  directly  the  Gaman  war  was  over.     This 
was  to  build  a  house  for  his  own  immediate  residence,  roofed  with 
brass  pans,  beaten  into  flat  surfaces,  and  laid  over  an  ivory  frame 
work  appearing  within.     The  windows  and  the  doors  to  be  cased 
in  gold,  and  the  door  posts  and   pillars   of  ivory.     Whether  the 
Moors  originated  or  encouraged  this  extravagance  by  the  descrip- 
tions in  their  tales,  for  some  of  the  stories  of  the  Arabian  Nights 
were  commonly  in  their  mouths,  or  whether  it  was  the  scheme  of 
his  own  disposition,  prone  to  magnificence  and  novelty,  the  King 
dwelt  ardently  on  the   intention,  and   by  their  frequent  conversa- 
tions on  the  subject,  his  chiefs  appeared  scarcely  less  anxious  for 
the  execution  than  himself.     He  meditated   great  improvements 
and  embellishments  in  his  capital,  on  his  return  from  the  war,  Avhen 
it  was  intended  that  every  captain  should  be  presented  with   an 
extraordinary  sum  out  of  the  public  treasury,  for  adorning  or  enlarg- 
ing his  house.     The  ruined  streets  between  Asafoo  and  Bantama 
were  to  be  rebuilt,  and   the  six  or  seven  small  crooms  between 
Coomassie  and   Baramang,  (the  King's  country  residence,)  were 
to  be  pulled  down,  and  the  inhabitants  to  occupy  a  wide  street  to 
extend  from  the  city  to  that  croom.    'i'his  was  the  darling  design 
of  the  King]  he  had  already  made  a  sound,  broad,  and  almost  di- 
rect road,  and  numerous  labourers  were  continuing  to  bring  it  as 
near  as  possible  to  a  straight  line. 

The  Ashantee  loom  is  precisely  on  the  same  principle  as  the 
English  ;  it  is  worked  by  strings  held  between  the  toes  ;  the  web  is 
never  more  than  four  inches  broad.     A  weaver  is  represented  in 


810  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

the  drawing,  No.  3,  and  a  small  loom  complete  is  amongst  the 
articles  for  the  British  Museum.  They  use  a  spindle,  and  not  a 
distaff,  for  spinning,  holding  it  in  one  hand,  and  twisting  the 
thread,  (which  has  a  weight  at  the  end,)  with  the  finger  and  thumb 
of  the  other.  The  fineness,  variety,  brilliance,  and  size  of  their 
cloths  would  astonish,  could  a  more  costly  one  be  exhibited ;  in 
the  absence  of  which,  that  for  the  Museum  will  doubtless  be 
admired  for  the  two  first  qualities,  and  for  having  precisely  the 
same  appearance  on  both  sides.  I  shall  notice  in  the  Chapter  on 
Trade,  that  the  richest  silks  are  unravelled  to  weave  into  them. 
The  white  cloths,  which  are  principally  manufactured  in  Inta  and 
Dagwumba,  they  paint  for  mourning  with  a  mixture  of  blood  and 
a  red  dye  wood.  The  patterns  are  various,  and  not  inelegant,  and 
painted  with  so  much  regularity,  with  a  fowl's  feather,  that  they 
have  all  the  appearance  of  a  coarse  print  at  a  distance.  I  have 
seen  a  man  paint  as  fast  as  I  could  write.  There  will  be  a  very 
fair  specimen  in  the  British  Museum,  the  price  of  painting  which 
was  one  ackie. 

They  have  two  dye  woods,  a  red  and  a  yellow,  specimens  of 
which  I  brought  down ;  they  make  a  green  by  mixing  the  latter 
with  their  blue  dye,  in  which  they  excel ;  it  is  made  from  a  plant 
called  acassie,  certainly  not  the  indigo,  which  grows  plentifully  on 
the  Coast.  The  acassie  rises  to  the  height  of  about  two  feet,  and 
according  to  the  natives,  bears  a  red  flower,  but  the  leaf  is  not 
small,  fleshy,  or  soft,  nor  is  it  pale  or  silvery  coloured  underneath ; 
it  is  a  thin  acuminate  leaf  about  five  inches  long,  and  three  broad, 
of  a  dark  green.*  I  regret  to  add,  our  best  specimens  of  this  plant 
perished  in  the  disasters  of  our  march,  and  no  drawing  was  made 

*  It  is  a  shrub  with  opposite  leaves,  no  stipules,  and  having  a  certain  degree  of  re- 
semblance to  Marsdenia  suave-olens  (the  indigo  of  Sumatra)  but  as  tlie  leaves  are 
toothed  in  the  acassie,  it  probably  does  not  belong  even  to  the  same  natural  order. 


obumata's  Sleeping  room. 


ms. 


3-mwn  fy  T.E.Saw£UcA£sqT 


lifNKR  .Square  of  Afootkoos  Housk. 


THE  (Oldest  House  in  Coomassee, 


2/f, 


7>m»«  i,  T.s.g^Jii-i  Afr 


FART  of  the  QUARTEIRS  of  til  e  MISSION. 

/Ui-lu-'ud  DtcTa.^/if. fyffhn. Murray:  ,'f/i^  -  ^ ^/^  t>.y^/ 


jV'.:. 


ARTS,  MANUFACTURES,  &c.  311 

of  it,  as  it  bore  no  flower  in  that  season ;  it  grows  abundantly  in 
the  woods,  and  produces  a  fast  and  beautiful  colour  without  requir- 
ing a  mordant.  They  gather  a  quantity  of  the  leaves,  bruise  them 
in  a  wooden  mortar,  and  spread  them  out  on  a  mat  to  dry,  this 
mass  is  kept  for  use,  a  proportion  of  it  is  put  into  a  pot  of  water 
and  remains  six  days  previous  to  immersing  the  thread,  which  is 
left  in  six  da^'s,  drying  it  once  every  day  in  the  sun,  it  is  then  a 
deep  lasting  blue  colour.  AVhen  a  light  blue  is  wished  for,  the 
thread  is  only  allowed  to  remain  in  the  dye  pot  three  days. 

They  excel  in  pottery,  as  the  pipes  for  the  Museum  will  shew; 
they  are  rested  on  the  ground  when  smoked  ;  the  clay  is  very  fine, 
polished  (after  baking)  by  friction,  and  the  grooves  of  the  patterns 
filled  up  with  chalk.  They  have  also  a  black  pottery  which  admits 
of  a  high  polish. 

The  people  of  Dagwumba  surpass  the  Ashantees  in  goldsmith's 
work,  though  the  latter  may  be  esteemed  proficients  in  the  art. 
The  small  articles  for  the  Museum,  a  gold  stool,  sanko,  bell,  jaw 
bone,  and  drum,  are  not  such  neat  specimens  as  I  could  wish  ;  the 
man  who  made  them  having  too  much  costly  work  on  hand  for  the 
King,  to  pay  our  trifles  his  wonted  attention ;  unfortunately  too, 
he  was  committed  to  prison  before  they  were  quite  finished  ;  how- 
ever, they  will  give  an  idea.  I  weighed  out  nineteen  ackies  and  a 
half  of  gold  dust  for  making  these  articles,  one  third  of  an  ackie 
was  lost  in  melting,  and  five  was  the  charge  of  the  goldsmith.  We 
lost  a  beautiful  silver  pipe  in  the  bustle.  Bees  wax  for  making  the 
model  of  the  article  wanted,  is  spun  out  on  a  smooth  block  of 
wood,  by  the  side  of  a  fire,  on  which  stands  a  pot  of  water ;  a  flat 
stick  is  dipped  into  this,  with  which  the  wax  is  made  of  a  proper 
softness  ;  it  takes  about  a  quarter  of  an  hour  to  make  enough  for  a 
ring.  When  the  model  is  finished,  it  is  enclosed  in  a  composition 
of  wet  clay  and  charcoal,  (which  being  closely  pressed  around  it 


312  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

forms  a  mould,)  dried  in  the  sun,  and  having  a  small  cup  of  the 

same  materials  attached  to  it,  (to  contain  the  gold  for  fusion,) 

communicating  with  the  model  by  a  small  perforation.    When  the 

whole  model  is  finished,  and  the  gold  carefully  enclosed  in  the  cup, 

it  is  put  in  a  charcoal  fire  with  the  cup  undermost.    When  the 

gold  is  supposed  to  be  fused,  the  cup  is  turned  uppermost,  that  it 

may  run  into  the  place  of  the  melted  wax ;  Avhen  cool  the  clay  is 

broken,  and  if  the  article  is  not  perfect  it  goes  through  the  Avhole 

process  again.    To  give  the  gold  its  proper  colour,  they  put  a  layer 

of  finely  ground  red  ochre,  (which  they  call  Inchuma,)  all  over  it, 

and  immerge  it  in  boiling  water  mixed  with  the  same  substance 

and  a  little  salt ;  after  it  has  boiled  half  an  hour,  it  is  taken  out 

and  thoroughly   cleansed  from  any  clay  that  may   adhere  to  it. 

Their  bellows  are  imitations  of  ours,  but  the  sheep  skin  they  use 

being  tied  to  the  wood   with  leather  thongs,  the   wind  escapes 

through  the  crevices,  therefore  when  much  gold  is  on  the  fire  they 

are  obliged  to  use  two  or  three  pair  at  the  same  time.    Their  anvils 

are  generally  a  large  stone,  or  a  piece  of  iron  placed  on  the  ground. 

Their  stoves  are  built  of  swish  (about  three  or  four  feet  high)  in  a 

circular  form,  and  are  open  about  one  fifth  of  the  circumference;  a 

hole  is  made  through  the  closed  part  level  with  the  ground,  for  the 

nozzle  of  the  bellows.    Their  weights  are  very  neat  brass  casts  of 

almost  every  animal,  fruit,  or  vegetable  known  in  the  country.  The 

King's  scales,  blow  pan,  boxes,  and  weights,  and  even  the  longs 

which  hold  the  cinder  to  light  his  pipe,  were  neatly  made  of  the 

purest  gold  that  could  be  manufactured. 

Their  blacksmith's  work  is  performed  with  the  same  sort  of  forge 
as  the  above,  but  they  have  no  idea  of  making  iron  from  ore,  as 
their  interior  neighbours  do.  Their  swords  are  generally  perforated 
in  patterns  like  fish  trowels ;  frequently  they  make  two  blades 
springing  parallel  from  one  handle,  which  evince  very  fine  work- 


ARTS,  MANUFACTURE,  &c.  313 

manship.  The  needles  and  castanets  will  only  give  some  idea  of 
their  progress.  The  iron  stone  is  of  a  dark  red  colour,  spotted 
with  gray,  and  intermixed  with  Avhat  had  all  the  appearance  of 
lava,  they  cut  bullets  out  of  it  for  the  army,  when  lead  is  scarce. 
I  have  brought  some  arrows  of  native  iroji.  They  have  no  idea  of 
making  a  lock  like  the  people  of  Houssa  and  Marrowa. 

They  tan  or  dress  leather  in  Ashantee,  but  they  do  this,  and  dye 
it,  in  a  very  superior  manner  in  Houssa  and  Dagwumba ;  see  the 
sandals  and  cushion  in  the  British  Museum,  the  former  varied  and 
apparently  stitched  ;  doubting  that  there  could  be  such  stitching,  I 
undid  a  part,  and  discovered  that  they  perforated  the  surface,  and 
then  stuck  in  the  fine  shreds  of  leather.  The  curious  will  observe, 
that  die  patterns  of  the  stool  cushion  are  all  produced  by  paring 
the  surface.  They  make  their  soldiers  belts  and  pouches  out  of 
elephant  or  pig  skin,  ornamented  with  red  shells.  (See  drawing. 
No.  7.) 

Of  their  carpenter's  work  the  slool  is  a  fair  specimen,  being- 
carved  out  of  a  solid  piece  of  a  wood  called  zesso,  whitie,  soft,  and 
bearing  a  high  polish ;  it  is  first  soaked  in  water.  They  sell  such  a 
stool  for  about  three  shillings,  in  Accra  or  Fantee  it  would  fetch 
twenty.  The  umbrella  is  even  more  curious,  the  bird  is  cut  almost 
equal  to  turning,  and  the  whole  is  so  supple  that  it  may  be  turned 
inside  out.  This,  only  a  child's  umbrella,  is  a  model  of  the  large 
canopies  I  have  described  in  the  procession ;  I  gave  a  piece  of 
cloth  value  twenty  shillings  for  it.  The  sanko  or  guitar  is  also 
neatly  made,  and  the  chasteness  and  Etruscan  character  of  the 
carving  is  very  surprising.  The  surface  of  the  wood  is  first  charred 
in  the  fire,  and  then  carved  deep  enough  to  disclose  the  original 
white  in  the  stripes  or  lines  of  the  patterns. 

Numbers  of  workmen  are  employed  in  breaking,  rounding,  and 
boring  the  snail  shells,  as  big  as  a  turkey's  egg  generally,  and 

s  s 


314  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

sometimes  as  large  as  a  conch.  They  are  first  broken  into  numerous 
pieces,  then  chipped  round,  the  size  of  a  sleeve  button,  and  after- 
wards bored  with  a  bow  and  iron  style  fixed  in  a  piece  of  wood. 
Lastly  they  are  strung,  and  extended  in  rows  on  a  log  of  wood, 
and  rubbed  with  a  soft  and  bluish  gray  stone  and  water,  until  they 
become  perfectly  round. 

Their  pine  apple  thread  is  very  strong,  and  is  made  from  the 
fineness  of  a  hair  to  the  thickness  of  whip  cord,  it  bleaches  to  a 
beautiful  whiteness,  and  would  answer  for  sewing  any  strong 
material,  but,  when  muslin  is  stitched  with  it,  it  is  liable  to  be  cut 
from  the  harshness.  The  women  frequently  join  their  cloths,  and 
ornament  their  handkerchiefs  with  a  zigzag  pattern,  worked  with 
unravelled  silks  of  different  colours.  The  fetish  case  is  a  specimen 
of  their  needle  work,  in  the  manner  of  chain  stitch. 


CLIMATE,  &c.  315 


CHAPTER  VII. 


Climate,  ^Population,  Revenue,  City,  Market,  ^c. 

1  HE  climate  will  be  best  judged  of  by  the  account  of  the  ther- 
mometer (from  May  to  February)  in  the  Appendix.  During  the 
first  two  months,  May  and  June,  it  rained  about  one  third  of  the 
time,  throughout  July  and  August  it  rained  nearly  half,  and  abrupt 
tornadoes  were  frequent  in  the  evening,  just  after  sun  set,  ushered 
in  by  a  strong  wind  from  the  south-west.  The  heaviest  rains  were 
from  the  latter  end  of  September  to  the  beginning  of  November, 
they  fell  even  in  more  impetuous  torrents  than  are  witnessed  on  the 
coast.*  The  influence  of  the  harmattan  was  described  as  very 
powerful.  Generally  speaking,  from  the  elevation  of  Ashantee, 
(unfortunately  we  had  no  barometer,)  it  was  much  cooler  in  Coo- 
massie  than  at  Cape  Coast;  indeed,  from  four  to  six  in  the  morn- 
ing, there  Mas  a  severity  of  cold  unknown  on  the  coast. 

I  can  only  calculate  the  population  of  the  kingdom  of  Ashantee, 
small  in  itself,  from  its  military  force,  of  which  the  following  is  the 
most  moderate  of  the  estimates  I  received. 


*  At  Cape  Coast  in  1815  there  was  scarcely  any  rain  fell  in  its  season,  from  May  to 
August.  In  1816",  the  rains  were  heavy,  but  no  fogs  succeeded.  In  1817,  there  was 
but  little  rain,  but  a  protracted  succession  of  slight  fogs.  The  climate  has  been  observed, 
by  old  residents,  to  alter  as  unaccountably  within  these  few  years  as  that  of  Europe. 


316  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Coomassie  district  (extending  to  the  northern  frontier)  60,000 

Dwabin  ditto         -             .             -             _  _       35,000 

Marmpon  ditto         -             _             -             _  _        15,000 

Soota  ditto         -             -             -             _  _           15,000 

Kokoofoo  ditto         -             -             _             _  _         15,000 

Becqua  ditto         _             _             >             .  _         12,000 
Adiabin  ditto  (between  Coomassie  and  the  lake)      -      12,000 

Aphwagwiasee  ditto         -             -             -  -          10,000 

Uaniasee  ditto  (southwards  of  Coomassie)  -              8,000 

Koontarasie  ditto  (on  the  lake)         _             -  -       8,000 

Gamasie  ditto         _             _             _             _  _         8,000 

Amafoo  ditto         _             .             _             _  .          6,000 


204,000 
This  appears  an  extravagant  force,  until  we  recollect  that  it  is  pro- 
bably one  fifth  of  the  Avhole  population.*  The  Romans  when  they 
were  a  nation  of  warriors,  which  these  people  are,  raised  a  military 
force  equally  great  in  proportion  to  their  population.  Barbot 
heard  of  the  Ashantees  losing  50,000  men  in  two  actions,  an 
exaggeration  which,  nevertheless,  serves  to  argue  great  military 
resources.  Since  the  Ashantee  invasions,  their  disposable  force 
has  been  estimated  by  old  residents  in  public  reports,  as  upwards 
of  150,000.  From  the  above  particular  statement,  the  population 
may  be  estimated  at  one  million,  which  I  believe  is  little  more  than 
half  the  population  of  Scotland,  the  area  of  which  must  be  more 
than  double  that  of  Ashantee,  which  certainly  does  not  contain 
more  than  14,000  square  miles.     Amanquatea,  Quatchie  Quofie, 

*  "  My  friend  Mr,  Morton  Pitt,  M.  P.  has  proved,  by  tlie  enumeration  of  the  inlia- 
bitants  of  a  country  parish  in  Dorsetshire,  that  the  men  of  an  age  capable  of  bearing  arms 
are  one  fourth  of  the  wliole  community.  Mr.  Horneman,  if  I  understand  him  right!}', 
states  the  number  of  actual  wai-riors  to  be  1 500 ;  so  that  we  ought,  perhaps,  to  multiply 
that  number  by  5,  to  get  nearer  to  the  total  amount  of  the  population."    Major  RenneU. 


POPULATION,  &c.  317 

Odumata,  and  Apokoo's  forces  alone  amounted  to  25,000.    The 

contingencies  at  command  from  tributaries,  (21  in  number)  are  too 

indefinite  to  attempt  to  detail.    Neither  Inta  or  Dagwuraba  furnish 

any,  the  Ashantees  pretending  to  despise  their  troops  too  much  to 

use  thein.    The  following,  which  are  known  to  be  pretty  correct, 

have  generally  been  the  first  called  into  action : 

Coranza  l(t,000 

Assin    _      -  8,000 

Takima      -  6,000 

Dankara      -        5,000 

Warsaw      -         7,000 

Booroom      -      12,000 

Sawee      -       -     4,000 

Akim  -  4,000,  before  their  later  destructive  revolts  16,000 

Aquapim,  &c.      1,000 

Though  polygamy  is  tolerated  to  such  an  excess  amongst  the 
higher  orders,  I  do  not  think,  from  observation,  that  the  proportion 
of  women  to  men  is  two  to  one.  Most  of  the  lower  order  of  free- 
men have  but  one  wife,  and  very  few  of  the  slaves  (the  greater 
proportion  of  the  military  force)  any.  The  following  calculation  is 
the  only  one  I  can  think  of,  and  it  supports  my  impression  after 
five  months  residence. 
204,000  Men  able  to  bear  arms,  about  one-fifth  of  the 

whole  population  .  _  _         1,000,000 

101,000  Or  one-fourth,  children  under  ten  years  of  age 

as  found  in  Great  Britain. 
50,000  Boys  above  that  age  not  capable  of  bearing  arms. 
7,000  Or  one  in  about  28  incapacitated  by  old  age  or 

accidents,  as  found  in  Great  Britain. 
362,000  Males  362,000 

Females  638,000 


318  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

The  men  are  very  well  made,  but  not  so  muscular  as  the  Fantees; 
their  countenances  arc  frequently  aquiline.  The  women  also  are 
generally  handsomer  than  those  of  Fantee,  but  it  is  only  amongst 
the  higher  orders  that  beauty  is  to  be  found,  and  amongst  them, 
free  from  all  labour  or  hardship,  I  have  not  only  seen  the  finest 
figures,  (which  the  ease  of  their  costume  and  habits  may  account 
for,)  but,  in  many  instances,  regular  Grecian  features,  with  brilliant 
eyes  set  rather  obliquely  in  the  head.  Beauty  in  a  Negress  must 
be  genuine,  since  complexion  prejudices  instead  of  imposes,  and 
the  European  adjudges  it  to  the  features  only,  which  appeared  in 
this  class  to  be  Indian  rather  than  African ;  nor  is  it  surprising, 
when  we  recollect  that  they  are  selected  from,  or  are  the  daughters 
of  the  handsomest  slaves  or  captives ;  or  are  expressly  chosen  by 
their  interior  neighbours,  to  compose  part  of  their  tribute  to  the 
King  of  Ashantec,  who  retains  but  a  small  proportion. 

Both  men  and  women  are  particularly  cleanly  in  their  persons, 
the  latter  washing  themselves,  and  the  former  being  washed  by 
them  daily  on  rising,  from  head  to  foot,  M'ith  warm  water  and 
Portuguese  soap,  using  afterwards  the  vegetable  grease  or  butter, 
which  is  a  fine  cosmetic.  Their  cloths,  which  are  beetled,  are 
always  scrupulously  clean.  The  lowest  orders  are  generally  dirt3\ 
Occasionally,  small  dehcate  patterns  in  green  or  white  paint  are 
traced  on  their  cheeks  and  temples.  The  Moorish  negresses  darken 
the  edges  of  their  eye  lids  with  lead  reduced  to  a  fine  powder. 
The  ore  was  brought  from  MaJlowa  and  is  very  rich.  The  powder 
is  moistened  a  little,  and  kept  in  small  boxes,  like  bodkin  cases 
with  a  bulb  at  the  end,  and  prettily  covered  with  cow's  hair,  within 
Avhich  is  a  metal  stylus  to  apply  the  powder,  as  the  women  of  India 
do  antimony  for  this  purpose.  Top-cloths  are  generally  worn,  and 
not  by  the  higher  order  only  as  in  Fantee.  They  are  commonly  of 
a  coarse  silk  bought  at  Dagwumba.    They  wear  little  or  no  antiflbo, 


REVENUE,  &c.  319 

a  sort  of  cushion  projecting  from  just  below  the  small  of  the  back 
in  the  Fantee  women,  by  the  size  of  which,  frequently  preposter- 
ous, and  at  all  times  unsightly,  their  rank,  or  the  number  of  their 
children  is  known.  The  bosoms  of  girls  of  thirteen  and  fourteen 
are  frequently  models,  but  the  young  women  sedulously  destroy 
this  beauty  for  what  is  considered  a  greater,  wearing  a  broad  band 
tight  across  their  breasts,  until  ceasing  to  be  globular  they  project 
conically.  Their  heads  are  shaved  in  fanciful  elaborate  patterns, 
having  as  intricate  an  appearance  as  a  rich  carpet. 

The  food  of  the  higher  orders  is  principally  soup  of  dried  fish, 
fowls,  beef,  or  mutton,  (according  to  the  fetish,)  and  ground  nuts 
stewed  in  blood.  The  poorer  class  make  their  soups  of  dried  deer, 
monkeys  tlesh,  and  frequently  of  the  pelts  of  skins.  Yams,  plan- 
tains, and  foofoos,  (see  the  kouskous  of  Mr.  Park)  are  commonly 
eaten,  and  they  do  not  make  cankey  of  their  corn,  (a  coarser  sort 
of  kouskous  not  cleared  from  the  husk)  as  the  Fantees  do,  but  they 
roast  it  on  the  stalk,  and  when  young  the  flavour  closely  resembles 
that  of  green  peas.  Besides  palm  wine  they  drink  Pitto,  made 
from  dried  corn,  which  I  think  must  have  been  the  beer  Lieute- 
nant Martyn  relished  so  much,  for  it  is  quite  as  pleasant  as  a  brisk 
small  ale.  They  are  forbidden  eggs  by  the  fetish,  and  cannot  be 
persuaded  to  taste  milk,  which  is  only  drank  by  the  Moors.  Their 
stews  and  white  soups  are  excellent,  and  my  companions  reported 
their  black  soups  (made  with  palm  oil)  to  be  equally  so. 

I  cannot  pretend  to  calculate  the  variable  revenue  of  Ashanlee, 
nor  indeed  to  report  its  optional  sources  ;  I  noted  a  few  particulars. 

I.  The  dust  gold  of  all  deceased  and  disgraced  subjects.  Boi- 
teiim,  the  father  of  O tee,  left  five  jars  (said  to  hold  about  four  gal- 
lons each)  and  two  flasks.  On  Appia  Nanu's  disgrace  three  jars 
were  seized. 


320  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

2.  A  tax  in  gold  ujoon  all  slaves  purchased  for  the  coast.* 
Customs  paid  in  gold  by  all  traders  returning  from  the  coast, 
levied  near  Ansa  in  Assin. 

3.  A  tax  on  the  elephant  hunters. 

4.  The  small  pits  in  Soko,  which  with  the  washings  were  re- 
ported to  yield,  sometimes  2,000  ounces  per  month,  at  others  not 
more  than  700. 

5.  The  daily  washings  throughout  Dankara,  and  the  hills  divi- 
ding Akim  and  Assin  ;  very  rich  in  gold. 

6.  A  tax  on  every  chief  increasing  the  number  of  his  gold 
ornaments.  Apokoo  paid  20periguins  to  the  King  on  melting  100. 

7.  The  soil  of  the  market  place  (see  Laws)  has  been  washed  but 
twice  during  the  present  reign.  I  was  told  it  produced  about  800 
ounces  of  gold  each  time.  During  our  stay  a  heav}^  rain  washed 
down  a  large  quantity,  M'hich  was  replaced  and  carefully  covered 
with  the  soil,  by  the  Captain  in  charge  of  the  market  place.  It 
was  very  easily  seen  after  rain. 

The  tributes  of  the  various  nations  they  had  subdued,  were  in 
some  instances  fixed,  but  more  frequently  indefinite,  being  propor- 
tioned to  the  exigencies  of  the  year  ;  indeed  from  various  conver- 
sations with  Apokoo  and  others,  and  my' own  observations  during 
state  palavers,  it  appeared  that  the  necessities  and  the  designs  of 
the  Ashantee  government  were  the  superior  considerations,  and  the 
rule  in  levying  tribute  every  where.  I  made  the  following  me- 
moranda. 

Inta  and  Dagwumba  never  pay  in  gold,  which  though  plentiful 
from  commerce,  is  not  found  there,  cowries  being  the  circulating 
medium.  Their  capitals  and  all  their  large  towns  send  the  following 
tribute  annually,  and  the  smaller  in  proportion. 

♦  Issert  mentions  this  being  levied  in  Akim  and  other  tributary  states. 


CITY,  &G.  321 

500  Slaves. 
200  Cows. 
400  Sheep. 
400  Cotton  cloths. 
200  Ditto  and  silk. 
Takima  a  smaller  proportion  of  the  same  kind. 
Coranza  is  generally  excused,  from  fidelity,  and  a  long  series  of 
military  services, 

Sawee         -         -  -  200  periguins  annually. 

Moinse'an         -  -         50  bendas  ditto. 

Gaman  had  paid,  (besides  all 

large  pieces  of  rock  gold,)    100  periguins  ditto. 
Akim,  Assin,  Warsaw,  Aowin,  &c.  &c.  were  taxed  indefinitely 
by  crooras.  'V,'  ej-jj. 

Coomassie  is  built  upon  the  side  of  a  large  rocky  hill  of  iron 
stone.  It  is  insulated  by  a  marsh  close  to  the  town  northwards, 
and  but  a  narrow  stream  ;  half  a  mile  distant  from  it  N.W.,  and 
60  yards  broad;  close  to  it  N.E.,  E.,  S.  E.,  and  S.,  and  about 
100,  20,  70,  and  50  yards  broad  at  these  points.  In  many  parts 
depth  after  heavy  rains  was  five  feet,  and  commonly  two.  The 
marsh  contains  many  springs,  and  supplies  the  town  with  water, 
but  the  exhalation  covers  the  city  with  a  thick  fog  morning  and 
evening,  and  engenders  dysentery,  with  which  the  natives  of  the 
coast  who  accompanied  us  were  almost  immediately  attacked, 
as  well  as  the  officers.  It  is  a  little  extraordinary  that  we  never 
saw  a  musquito  in  Ashantee.  I  could  find  none  but  birds  eye 
views  of  the  city,  which  were  uninteresting,  presenting  nothing 
but  the  thatch  of  the  houses ;  it  was  encircled  by  a  beautiful  forest, 
which  required  more  time  than  I  could  spare,  and  a  more  expres- 
sive pencil  to  pourtray.  Coomassie  is  an  oblong  of  nearly  four 
miles  in  circumference,  not  including  the  suburbs  of  Assafoo  nor 

T  t 


322  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Bantama,  (the  back  town,)  half  a  mile  distant,  and  formerly  con- 
nected by  streets  with  the  city,  as  is  evident  from  the  numerous 
ruins  of  houses  on  the  path.  The  slaughter  of  constant  warfare, 
and  the  extinction  or  removal  of  several  ill  affected  chiefs  with  their 
adherents,  account  for  this  even  in  a  rising  state.  The  ruins  in  the 
interval  to  Bantama  were  indeed  accounted  for  by  Amanqualea 
(who  holds  his  court  there,  as  Quatchie  Quofie  does  at  Assafoo) 
informing  us,  that  almost  all  the  Ashantees  killed  before  Anna- 
maboe  (about  2000  by  the  most  moderate  computation)  behmged 
to  him,  as  it  was  his  division  which  marched  along  the  beach  from 
Cormantine,  exposed  to  the  cannon  of  the  fort.  Four  of  the  prin- 
cipal streets  are  half  a  mile  long,  and  from  50  to  100  yards  wide. 
I  observed  them  building  one,  and  a  line  was  stretched  on  each 
side  to  make  it  regular.  The  streets  were  all  named,  and  a  superior 
captain  in  charge  of  each;  ours  for  instance,  was  Aperremsoo,  big 
gun  or  cannon  street,  because  those  taken  when  Dankara  was 
conquered,  were  placed  on  a  mound  at  the  top  of  it,  near  Adoo 
Quamina's  house.  The  area  in  which  we  had  our  first  audience 
was  called  Daebrim,  the  great  market,  in  distinction  to  a  lower 
street  called  Gwaba,  or  the  small  market.  The  street  ai)ove  where 
we  lived  was  called  Osamarandiduiim,  meaning  literally,  "  with 
1000  mukets  you  could  not  fight  those  who  live  there."  One  street 
was  named  after  Oduraata,  and  there  was  another  near  it,  whose 
title  I  forget,  but  it  was  equal  to  prison  street.  The  palace  was 
situated  in  a  long  and  wide  street  running  through  the  middle  of 
the  town,  from  which  it  was  shut  out  by  a  high  wall,  terminating  at 
each  end  at  the  marsh,  where  it  was  discontinued,  that  being  a 
sufficient  boundary.  It  included  Odumata's  and  the  King's  brothers 
residences,  and  two  or  three  small  streets,  (besides  the  several  areas 
and  piazzas,)  for  the  King's  relief  and  recreation  when  the  supersti, 
tions  of  the  country  confine  him  to  the  palace.    I  reckoned  twenty 


,  .  .  .  • 

ii  01  CI  *  «  lo  N  03  a  0-1 


CITY,  &c.  ddS 

seven  streets  in  all,  which  I  have  laid  down  in  a  ground  plan  of  the 
town.  The  small  grove  at  the  back  of  the  large  market  place  was 
called  Sammonpome  or  the  spirit-house,  because  the  trunks  of  all 
the  human  victims  were  thrown  into  it.  The  bloody  tracks,  daily 
renewed,  shewed  the  various  directions  they  had  been  dragged 
from,  and  the  number  of  vultures  on  the  trees  indicated  the  extent 
of  the  recent  sacrifice ;  the  stench  was  insupportable,  and  the  visits 
of  panthers  nightly.  Several  trees  were  individually  scattered  about 
the  town  for  the  recreation  of  the  inhabitants  of  those  quarters,  and 
small  circular  elevations  of  two  steps,  the  lower  about  20  feet  in 
circumference,  like  the  bases  of  the  old  market  crosses  in  England, 
were  raised  in  the  middle  of  several  streets,  on  which  the  King-'s 
chair  was  placed  when  he  went  to  drink  palm  wine  there,  his 
attendants  encircling  him. 

The  Ashantees  persisted  that  the  population  of  Coornassie,  when 
collected,  was  upwards  of  100,000.  I  think  it  likely  to  be  much 
greater  than  that  of  Sego,  (which  Mr.  Park  reported  as  30,000,) 
from  the  extended  masses  of  crowd  I  observed  on  festivals,  when 
the  plantations  of  J.he  environs  are  almost  wholly  deserted.  I 
compared  them  in  my  recollection  with  the  crowds  I  have  seen 
collected  in  the  secondary  cities  of  England,  on  similar  occasions 
of  public  curiosity;  the  only  criterion,  as  I  had  not  time  to  finish 
reckoning  the  number  of  houses.  I  say  when  collected,  because 
the  higher  class  could  not  support  their  numerous  followers,  or  the 
lower  their  large  families,  in  the  city,  and  therefore  employed  them 
in  plantations,  (in  Avhich  small  crooms  were  situated,)  generally 
within  two  or  three  miles  of  the  capital,  where  their  labours  not 
only  feed  themselves,  but  supply  the  wants  of  the  chief,  his  family, 
and  more  immediate  suite.  The  middling  orders  station  their 
slaves  for  the  same  purpose,  and  also  to  collect  fruits  and  vegetables 
for  sale,  and  when  their  children  become  numerous,  a  part  are 


324  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

generally  sent  to  be  supported  by  these  slaves  in  the  bush.  Per- 
haps the  average  resident  population  of  Coomassie  is  not  more 
than  from  12  to  15,000. 

The  markets  were  held  daily  from  about  eight  o'clock  in  the 
morning  until  sun  set.  The  larger  contains  about  sixty  stalls  or 
sheds,  (a  small  square  frame  covered  with  cotton  cloth  with  a  pole 
from  the  centre,  stuck  into  the  ground,  see  drawing,  No.  9)  besides 
throngs  of  inferior  venders,  seated  in  all  directions.  Amongst  the 
articles  for  sale,  were  beef,  (to  us  about  8c?.  per  lb.)  and  mutton, 
cut  in  small  pieces  for  soup,  wild  hog,  deer,  and  monkey's  flesh, 
fowls,  pelts  of  skins ;  yams,  plantains,  corn,  sugar-cane,  rice, 
encruma,  (a  mucilaginous  vegetable,  richer  than  asparagus,  which 
it  resembles,)  peppers,  vegetable  butter;  oranges,  papaws,  pine 
apples,  (not  equal  to  those  on  the  coast,)  bananas ;  salt  and  dried 
fish  from  the  coast;  large  snails  smoke  dried,  and  stuck  in  rows  on 
small  sticks  in  the  form  of  herring  bone ;  eggs  for  fetish ;  pitto, 
palm  wine,  rum  ;  pipes,  beads,  looking-glasses,  sandals,  silk,  cotton 
cloth,  powder,  small  pillows,  white  and  blue  cotton  thread,  cala- 
bashes, &c.  &c.    See  Chapter  on  Trade. 

The  following  are  the  comparative  prices  of  the  markets  of 
Coomassie  and  Yahndi,  the  capital  of  Dagwumba : 

A  fat  bullock 
A  sheep 
A  fowl 
A  horse 
Yams 

The  surprising  exorbitance  of  the  former  is  to  be  accounted  for  by 
the  abundance  of  gold,  yet  labour  and  manufacture  was  mode- 
rately purchased.  In  Mallowa,  provision  is  dearer  than  in  Dag- 
wumba, but  the  articles  of  trade  much  cheaper ;  they  manufacture 


Coomassie. 

Yahndi. 

£.6     0  0- 

£.1  0  0 

0  15  0     - 

0  4  0 

0     18 

-      0  0  5 

24     0  0     - 

8  0  0 

0     0  8  for  two 

-     0  0  8  for  ten 

MARKETS,  &c  325 

very  little  cloth,  the  Moorish  traders  supplying  it  so  abundantly. 
The  cattle  we  saw  in  Ashantee  were  as  large  as  the  English,  unlike 
those  on  the  coast,  which  resemble  the  Jersey.  The  sheep  are 
hairy  in  Ashantee,  but  woolly  in  Dagwumba,  an  open  country, 
where  they  manufacture  a  coarse  blanket.  The  horses  in  Dag- 
wumba are  generally  small,  some  were  described  to  be  15  hands 
high,  but  these  were  never  parted  with,  and  the  Ashantees  did  not 
desire  them,  for  I  never  saw  but  one  who  rode  fearlessly.  The 
horses  I  saw  were  like  half  bred  galloways,  their  legs  lathy,  with  a 
wiry  hair  about  the  fetlock,  only  requiring  to  be  pulled.  Their 
heads  were  large  ;  dun  and  mouse  colours  were  said  to  be  common; 
they  were  never  shod,  and  their  hoofs  consequently  in  the  eye  of 
the  European,  though  not  in  nature,  disproportionate ;  they  were 
fed  on  guinea  grass,  occasionally  mixed  with  salt,  and  sal-ammoniac 
was  frequently  dissolved  in  the  water.  The  saddles  were  Moorish, 
of  red  leather,  and  cumbersome ;  the  bridles  of  twisted  black 
leather  thongs,  and  brass  links,  with  a  whip  at  the  end ;  the  bit 
severe,  with  a  large  ring  hanging  from  the  middle,  and  slipped 
over  the  under  jaw  instead  of  a  curb  chain ;  the  stirrups  were  like 
large  blow  pans,  and  hung  very  short.  Some  of  the  Moors  rode 
on  bullocks,  with  a  ring  through  the  nose. 

The  extent  and  order  of  the  Ashantee  plantations  surprised  us, 
yet  I  do  not  think  they  were  adequate  to  the  population ;  in  a 
military  government  they  were  not  likely  to  be  so.  Their  neatness 
and  method  have  been  already  noticed  in  our  route  up.  They  use 
no  implement  but  the  hoe.  They  have  two  crops  of  corn  a  year, 
plant  their  yams  at  Christmas,  and  dig  them  early  in  September. 
The  latter  plantations  had  much  the  appearance  of  a  hop  garden 
well  fenced  in,  and  regularly  planted  in  lines,  with  a  broad  walk 
around,  and  a  hut  at  each  wicker  gate,  where  a  slave  and  his 
family  resided  to  protect  the  plantation. 


32(J  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE.  * 

All  the  fruits  mentioned  as  sold  in  the  market  grew  in  spontane- 
ous abundance,  as  did  the  sugar  cane :  the  oranges  were  of  a 
large  size  and  exquisite  flavour.  I  believe  this  fruit  has  hitherto 
been  considered  indigenous  to  India  only.  We  saw  no  cocoa  nut 
trees,  nor  Avas  that  fruit  in  the  market.  Mr.  Park's  route  was 
through  a  very  different  countr}- .*  In  the  marshy  ground,  a  large 
species  of  fern  is  very  abundant,  there  are  four  varieties  of  it ;  in 
shady  places  that  have  been  cultivated,  various  tribes  of  urtica ;  and 
the  leontodon  grows  abundantly  to  the  north  of  Coomassie.  The 
miraculous  berry,  which  gives  acids  the  flavour  of  sweets,  making 
limes  taste  like  honey,  is  common. -f  The  castor  oil,  (ricinus  com- 
munis) rises  to  a  large  tree,  I  have  only  seen  it  as  a  bush  about 
three  feet  high  on  the  coast ;  and  the  wild  fig  is  abundant,  though 
neither  of  them  are  used  by  the  natives.  The  cotton  plant  is  very 
plentiful,  but  little  cultivated.  The  only  use  to  which  they  apply 
the  silk  cotton,  is  to  the  stuffing  of  cushions  and  pillows. |.     Mr. 

*  "  It  is  observable,  however,  that  although  many  species  of  the  edible  roots  wluch 
grow  in  the  West  India  islands,  are  found  in  Africa,  yet  I  never  saw,  in  any  part  of  my 
journey,  either  the  sugar  cane,  the  coffee,  or  the  cocoa  tree ;  nor  could  I  learn,  on 
inquiry,  that  they  were  known  to  the  natives.  The  pine  apple,  and  the  thousand  other 
delicious  fruits,  which  the  industry  of  civilized  man  (improving  the  bounties  of  nature,) 
has  brought  to  such  great  perfection  in  the  tropical  climates  of  America,  are  heie  equally 
unknown.  I  observed,  indeed,  a  few  orange  and  banana  trees,  near  the  mouth  of  the 
Gambia ;  but  whether  they  were  indigenous,  or  were  formerly  planted  there  by  some  of 
the  white  traders,  I  could  not  positively  learn.  I  suspect  that  they  were  originally  intro- 
duced by  the  Portuguese."     Park's  First  Mission. 

•f-  The  cMrious  fruit  mentioned  in  the  Introduction,  and  to  which  I  have  given  the 
name  of  oxyglycus,  I  find  was  known  to  Des  Marchais,  who  describes  it  as  a  little  red 
fruit,  which,  being  chewed,  gives  a  sweet  taste  to  the  most  sour  or  bitter  things.  Dalzel's 
Dahomey. 

t  Cotton  of  the  cotton  tree  (or  silk  cotton)  Bomhax  Pcntandritim  Lin.  This  cotton 
is  not  made  into  thread,  but  is  used  for  making  pillows  and  beds.  It  is  also,  from  its 
catching  fire  so  easily,  commonly  put  into  tinder  boxes,  and  employed  in  the  preparation 
of  fire  works.    Ainslie's  Materia  Medica  of  Hindostan. 


MARKETS,  &c.  327 

Park  observed  the  tobacco-plant,  which  grows  luxuriantly  in  Inta 
and  Dagwumba,  and  is  called  toah.  The  visitors  from  those 
countries  recognised  it  in  a  botanical  work.  They  first  dry  the 
leaves  in  the  sun,  then,  having  rubbed  them  well  between  their 
hands,  mix  them  with  water  into  oval  masses,  as  will  be  seen ;  it  is 
ftirther  noticed  in  the  Trade  Report. 

Lions  are  numerous  on  the  northern  frontiers  of  Inta,  elephants 
(assoon,  F.  A.  soorer,  B.*)  are  remarkably  numerous  in  Kong,  but 
they  are  also  found  in  Ashantee,  with  wild  hogs  (yambo,  F.  A.) 
hyaenas  (patacoo,  F.  A.  boofooree,  B.,)  cows  (anantwee,  F.  A.  B.,) 
sheep  (ygwan,  F.  A.  Isan,  B.,)  goats  (apunkie,  F.  A.  terrie,  B.,) 
deer  (wonsan,  F.  A.  B..)  antelopes  (ettwan,  F.  A.  B.,)  dogs  (bod- 
dum,  etcha,  F.  twea,  A.  opooree,  B.,)  approximating  to  the  Danish, 
cats  (agrainwaw,  F.  A.  B.,)  extremely  sharp  visaged  and  long 
necked,  Gennet  cats  (essoor,  F.  A.B.,)  pangolins  (appra,  F.  A. 
aypra,  B.,)  alligators  (dankim,  F  A.  B.,)  &c.  &c.  &c.  The  rhino- 
ceros (naree)  is  found  in  Boroom,  and  the  hippopotamus  (shonsa, 
A.  tchoosooree,  B. )  in  the  Odirree  river. 

The  Ashantees  say,  that  an  animal  called  sissah  or  sissirree,  wiH 
attack  every  other  however  superior  in  size.  The  Fantees  who  had 
never  seen  it,  had  imbibed  a  tremendous  idea  of  it,  from  the  stories 
in  their  own  country.  I  doubt  its  being  so  formidable  to  all  other 
animals,  for  the  skin  I  saw  was  not  more  than  three  feet  longi:,  and 
the  legs  short,  it  resembled  that  of  a  boar,  but  the  natives  said  it 
was  between  a  pig  and  a  goat.  I  enquired  of  the  people  of  Inta 
and  Dagwumba  if  they  had  ever  heard  of  a  unicorn;  one  replied, 
yes !  in  the  white  man's  country.  It  is  extraordinary  that  the 
gnoo,  (antelope  gnu,)  which  is  found  behind  the  Cape  of  Good 

*  F.  A.  aiBxed  to  assoon,  denote  that  to  be  the  native  name  in  the  Fantee  and 
Ashantee  languages,  as  B.  represents  Boroom. 


328  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Hope,  is  known  in  Inta  by  the  same  name.*  Wliere  the  beds 
were  not  an  accumulation  of  cushions,  the  skin  of  the  gnoo  was 
nailed  to  a  large  wooden  frame,  raised  on  legs  about  a  foot  from 
the  ground,  and  stretched  as  we  would  sacking.  It  was  a  revered 
custom  that  no  virgin  of  either  sex  should  sleep  on  this  kind  of 
bed.  Another  animal,  called  otrum,  was  described  by  the  inha- 
bitants of  the  eastern  frontier  as  having  one  very  long  horn  on  one 
side  of  the  head  and  a  short  one  on  the  other ;  it  is  much  larger 
than  the  gnoo.  We  met  with  a  spotted  animal  of  the  cat  kind 
(gahin,  F.  A.  B.,)  very  common,  and  allied  to  the  leopard  or  pan- 
ther, but  whether  referable  to  either  of  those  species,  or  to  be  con- 
sidered as  distinct,  we  could  not  determine,  owing  to  the  very 
vague  and  unsatisfactory  character  by  which  naturalists  have 
attempted  to  distinguish  them,  the  kind  and  number  of  the  rows  of 
spots ;  which  we  have  observed  in  individuals  of  the  same  decided 
species,  to  present  almost  an  infinity  of  variation. 

The  vulture  (pittay,  F.  A.  epraykee,  B.,)  which  I  have  before 
mentioned  to  be  venerated  by  the  natives,  for  the  sanie  reason 
which  the  Egyptians  venerated  the  Vulturus  Percnopterus,  is  the 
Vulturus  Monachus,  figured  by  Le  Vaillant.  Green  pigeons 
(assam)  are  found,  and  crows  with  a  white  ring  round  their' 
necks,  probably  the  corvus  scapularis  figured  by  Le  Vaillant. 
There  were  several  small  birds  of  beautiful  plumage,  which  sung 
melodiously  ;  two  in  particular,  the  one  like  a  blackbird,  and  the 
other  of  the  same  colour  as  the  English  thrush,  but  larger.  Also 
a  variety  of  parrots  beautifully  spangled  with  different  colours. 
M.  Cuvier  was  misinformed  when  he  wrote  (Regne  animal,  torn.  i. 
p.  108)  "  Macaque  est  le  nom  g6nerique  des  singes  k  la  cote  de 
Guinee."    The  name  is  unknown  there  as  well  as  in  the  interior. 

*  C'est  probablement  lui  qui  a  donne  lieu  a  leur  catoblepas.    Voycz  Pline,  lib.  8,  c.  3i?, 
et  iElien,  lib.  7j  c.  5,  Cuvier.    The  gnoo  is  almost  always  looking  doivn. 


CITY,  &c.  329 

Dokoo  is  the  generic  name.  The  Simia  Diana  (effoor,  F.  A.  B.,) 
which  has  the  most  beautiful  skin  of  any  monkey,  is  found  in 
Ashantee  as  well  as  in  Warsaw.  All  the  natives  agree  that  they 
do  not  know  of  any  inonkies  which  dare  to  attack  men,  but  the 
akoneson,  which  they  describe  as  small,  and  always  seen  in 
troops. 

Snakes  (aboitinnee,  F.  A.  ewavv,  B.,)  green,  and  of  all  colours  ; 
scorpions,  lizards,  &c.  &c.  were  found  as  on  the  coast,  with  a 
curious  variety  of  beetles,  and  the  most  beautiful  butterflies.  A 
few  specimens  preserved  in  spirits  will  be  sent  to  the  British  Mu- 
seum,* as  the  best  apology  for  my  ignorance  rather  than  neglect 
of  natural  history. 

*  See  Dr.  Leach's  notice  in  the  Appendix. 


V  U 


380  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 


CHAPTER  VIII. 


Trade. 

Th  e  currency  of  Ashantee  is  gold  dust,  that  of  Inta,  Dagwumba, 
Gaman,  and  Kong,  cowries.  Mr.  Lucas  writes,  "  to  the  merchants 
of  Fezzan  who  travel  to  the  southern  states  of  the  Negroes,  the 
purchase  of  gold,  which  the  dominions  of  several,  and  especially 
those  of  Degombah,  abundantly  afford,  is  always  the  first  object  of 
commercial  acquisition."  I  could  not  learn  that  any  gold  was  dug 
or  collected  in  Dagwumba,  though  considerable  quantities  are 
imported,  from  its  extensive  commerce.  Sixteen  ackies  make  an 
ounce  or  newemeen,  36  a  benda,  40  a  periguin :  eight  tokoos  (a 
small  berry)  are  reckoned  to  the  ackie,  but  it  will  not  weigh  more 
than  seven :  there  are  eight  distinct  names  for  quantities  of  gold 
dust  from  one  to  eight-  ackies.  Five  strings  or  200  cowries  are 
equal  to  a  tokoo,  as  at  Accra.  The  clearest  manner  of  shewing 
the  articles,  prices,  and  profits  of  the  Ashantee,  Inta,  and  Dag- 
wumba markets,  will  be  by  a  table  with  remarks  ;  substituting,  for 
the  greater  convenience,  English  monies  calculated  at  the  currency 
of  gold  here,  which  is  £4.  the  oz. 


TRADE. 


331 


Cape  Coast. 

Coomassie. 

SaUagJia  and  Vahndi. 

Articles. 

£. 

s. 

d. 

Quantity. 

£. 

s. 

d. 

Quantity. 

Profit, 
per  Cent. 

£. 

*. 

d. 

Quantity. 

Profit. 

a)  Silk,  India 

4 

per  Piece. 

2 

5 

2 
5 
5 
15 
15 
5 

2 
15 

G 

1  span. 
1  fethom. 

1  span. 
1  hdkchf. 

piece. 

175 

100 

400 

75 

20 

33 

33 

100 

400 

75 

150 

400 

75 

75 

GOO 

100 
100 
100 

1 

1 

1 
1 

10 
10 

10 
10 

;)  Glasgow  Dane    

i)  Romal 

j)  Guinea  Stuff 

1 

/•)  Silesia 

Dagwumba  white  Cotton 

6 

n 

sq.  yard. 

dram. 

roll. 

span. 

lb. 

1  charge. 

bar. 

\  inch. 

each. 

2 

sq.  yard. 

10 

Gallon. 
Boll. 



10 

»•)  Tobacco,  Portuguese  . . 

6 

-  Inta 

lb. 

i\  Gunpowder 

4 
1 

10 
5 
5 

i  Barrel. 
Bar. 

1 

3 

bar. 

200 

Flints 

100 
ea. 

5 
10 

5 

)  Spanish  Dollar 



pair, 
ea. 

5 
10 

2 

a 

pair, 
ea. 

1 

Marrowa  Locks 

•  • 

(a)  The  red  taffetas  ( 1 1  yards  in  each  piece)  are  unravelled  by  the  Ashantees,  and 
wove  into  the  cloths  of  their  own  manufacture :  they  unravel  a  few  of  the  fancy  silks,  but 
these  are  generally  bought  for  wear,  though  they  prefer  those  from  Fezzan  for  that  pur- 
pose, because  the  colours  are  more  shewy.  Coarse  thick  scarves  are  also  brought  from  the 
interior,  equal  in  substance  to  a  double  wove  ribbon.  One  ackie  a  span  was  the  price  in 
the  public  market,  where  it  was  retailed  in  these  small  quantities,  for  the  convenience  of 
the  weavers,  who  did  not  require,  or  could  not  afford  to  purchase  more:  the  price  of  a 
piece  was  uncertain,  as  the  person  who  could  purchase  so  much,  generally  sent  a  trusty 
servant  to  the  foreign  market,  and  seldom  bought  of  the  traders  but  when  thev  were  ne- 
cessitated to  sell  at  little  more  than  prime  cost.  The  richest  silks,  I  saw,  were  worn  by 
the  Moors,  who  had  bought  them  at  Yahndi  and  Houssa.*  Reckoning  nine  inches  to  a 
span,  there  are  eight  spans  in  a  fathom,  which  is  the  Ashantee  measure ;  but  the  fathom 
of  Inta  and  Dagwumba,  contains  only  six  spans.  Even  if  the  Ashantee  ti'aders  give 
twenty  shillings  a  fathom,  in  barter  of  boossee,  salt,  rum,  iron,  &c.;  it  is  considerably 


*  Since  my  return  to  England  I  have  seen  some  silk  brought  from  Aleppo,  and  manu- 
factured there,  precisely  resembling  these,  which  were  frequently  enriched  by  gold  threads 
interwoven. 


S32  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Most  of  the  slaves  in  Coomassie,  were  sent  as  part  of  the  annual 
tribute  of  Inta,  Dagwumba,  and  their  neighbours,  to  Ashantee ; 

cheaper  to  them  than  ours,  considering  that  they  get  100  per  cent,  on  it  at  Coomassie. 
Mr.  Lucas  mentions  "  silk  wrought  and  un^v^ought  amongst  tlie  articles  exported  from 
Fezzan  to  Rassina.  Apokoo  and  several  others  related  to  me,  that  Sai  Cudjo  bought  a 
piece  of  silk  at  Yahndi,  so  very  fine,  that  although  it  could  be  compressed  between  two 
hands,  it  was  nevertheless  larger  than  any  cloth  I  had  seen  the  present  King  wear,  and 
his  appeared  monstrous.  Apokoo  added,  that  six  slaves  were  paid  for  it,  which  would 
have  produced  £160.  at  the  water  side. 

(b)  This  is  a  highly  glazed  British  cotton  of  bright  red  stripes  with  a  bar  of  white  :  it 
is  bought  solely  for  the  red  stripe,  (as  there  is  no  red  dye  nearer  than  Marrowa)  which 
they  weave  into  their  own  cloths,  throwing  away  the  white.  There  are  280  inches  in  a 
piece.  A  cloth  of  Ashantee  manufacture  will  be  sent  to  the  British  Museum,  and,  I 
expect,  the  size,  fineness,  and  variety  will  surprise. 

(c)  This  is  also  a  highly  glazed  British  cotton  of  more  colours,  and  in  handkerchiefs ; 
ten  of  which  are  in  a  30*.  piece. 

(d)  This  is  an  unglazed  I'ndia  cotton,  not  much  in  demand,  and  yielding  the  least 
profit.    The  Manchester  cotton  called  Tom  Coffee  is  preferred. 

(e)  This  is  India  cotton  unglazed,  for  all  of  which  there  is,  in  proportion,  but  a  small 
demand.  The  Ashantees  invariably  prefer  cloths  of  the  Dagwumba,  or  their  own  manu- 
facture, and  we  rarely  saw  any  others  worn  in  Coomassie. 

(jT)  These  are  white  cottons,  six  yards  in  a  piece,  but  narrow,  they  are  bought  for 
fetish  cloths ;  but  the  next  article,  the  white  cotton  cloth  of  Dagwumba,  is  preferred,  a 
piece  of  which,  painted,  wiU  be  sent  to  the  British  Museum. 

ig)  These  are  the  wholesale  and  retail  prices  at  Coomassie,  the  average  length  of  a  roll 
is  42  fathoms. 

(/t)  Powder  is  retailed  for  customs  or  festivals :  those  who  purchase  it  for  war,  or  can 
afiPord  a  5  barrel,  send  to  the  water  side  for  it.  A  5  barrel  contains  25  lbs.  and  the 
Ashantee  charge  weighs  1 6  ackies,  equal  to  |  of  an  ounce  avoirdupoise. 

(i)  This  was  owing  to  their  brisk  intercourse  with  the  Spanish  and  Portuguese  slave 
ships,  a  dollar  generallv  fetches  two  ackies  or  10^.  Mr.  Park  \\Titcs,  from  £l.  as.  to 
£2.  10s.  at  Sansanding. 

(k)  Sandals  and  a  cushion  will  be  sent  to  the  British  Museum.  In  Marrowa  they 
decoct  a  good  red  dye  from  a  tree  called  mossaratee. 

The  reason  green  ells  are  purchased  by  the  Warsaws  only,  is,  that  they  must  be  th» 
wedding  garment  of  the  females  of  that  country :  if  they  are  fast  colours,  and  will  not 
shange  to  a  blue  with  lime-juice,  tliey  will  not  look  at  them 


TRADE.  333 

very  many  were  kidnapped,  and  for  the  few  who  were  bought,  I 
was  assured  by  several  respectable  Ashantees,  2000  cowries,  or 
1  basket  of  Boossee  was  the  greatest  price  given  ;  so  full  were  the 
markets  of  the  interior.  I  have  brought  some  pods  of  the  Boossee ; 
it  is  astringent,  and  the  natives  chew  it  to  excite  a  flow  of  saliva, 
and  allay  the  sensation  of  hunger.  The*  Boossee  must  be  the 
Gooroo  nut,  which  Mr.  Lucas  describes  as  one  of  the  articles  of 
trade  between  Fezzan,  Kassina,  Bornoo,  and  the  states  south  of 
the  Niger.  He  writes,  "  Gooroo  nuts,  which  are  brought  from  the 
Negro  states  on  the  south  of  the  Niger,  and  which  are  principally 
valued  for  the  pleasant  bitter  that  they  communicate  to  any  liquor 
in  which  they  are  infused,"  and  again  "  a  species  of  nut — which 
is  much  valued  in  the  kingdoms  to  the  north  of  the  Niger,  and 
which  is  called  Gooroo.  It  grows  on  a  large  and  broad  leafed 
tree,  that  bears  a  pod  of  about  18  inches  in  length,  in  which  are 
inclosed  a  number  of  nuts  that  varies  from  7  to  p.  Their  colour 
is  a  yellowish  green  ;  their  size  is  that  of  a  chesnut,  which  they  also 
resemble,  in  being  covered  by  a  husk  of  a  similar  thickness,  and 
their  taste,  which  is  described  as  a  pleasant  bitter,  is  so  grateful  to 
those  who  are  accustomed  to  its  use,  and  so  important  as  a  correc- 
tive to  the  unplatable  or  unwholesome  waters  of  Fezzan,  and  of  the 
other  kingdoms  that  border  on  the  vast  Zahara,  as  to  be  deemed 
of  importance  to  the  happiness  of  life.  They  are  purchased  at  the 
rate  of  12s.  for  100  pods.'' 

Sal  ammonia  is  found  abundantly  in  Dagwumba :  in  the 
Ashantee  market,  a  lump  the  size  of  a  duck's  egg,  was  sold  for  2s. : 
they  grind  it  to  mix  with  their  snuff,  (of  which  they  take  large 
quantities,)  as  it  gives  it  a  pungency  agreeable  to  them.  They 
also  dissolve  it  in  the  water  they  give  to  their  cattle,  and  some- 
times drink  it  themselves  for  pains  in  the  bowels.  The  Tamool  prac- 

*  Sterculia  acuminata  Palis  de  Beauvais  Flore  (TOware,  1.  p.  41.  fab.  24. 


834  MISSION  TO  ASHAXTEE. 

titioners  in  the  East  Indies  suppose  it  to  be  a  useful  remedy  in  certain 
female  obstructions,  and  morbid  uterine  enlargements.  Mr.  Lucas 
writes.  "  No  commercial  value  appears  to  be  annexed  to  the  fleeces 
which  the  numerous  flocks  of  the  Negro  kingdoms  aftbrd  ;  for  the 
cotton  manufacture,  which,  the  Shereef  says,  is  established  among 
the  tribes  to  the  south  of  the  Niger,  seems  to  be  the  only  species  of 
weaving  that  is  known  among  them."  In  Dagwumba,  however,  they 
manufacture  a  coarse  kind  of  blanket  from  sheep's  wool.  There  is  a 
white  grease,  which  has  long  been  called  Ashantee  grease  by  the 
natives  on  the  coast,  who  supposed  it  to  be  produced  in  that  country. 
They  use  it  daily  to  anoint  their  skins,  which  otherwise  become  coarse 
and  unhealthy.  The  Ashantees  purchase  it  from  the  interior,  and 
make  a  great  profit  by  it :  it  is  a  vegetable  butter,  decocted  from 
a  tree,  called  Timkeeii :  it  is  doubtless  the  Shea  butter  of  Mr. 
Park.*  Mr.  Lucas  mentions,  "  small  Turkey  and  plain  Mesurata 
carpets,"  among  the  articles  exported  from  Fezzan  to  Kassina : 
a  small  carpet  fetches  2  oz.  of  gold  at  Coomassie.  The  Ashantees 
procure  most  of  their  ivory  from  Kong,  where  they  give  8  ackies, 
or  40s.  in  barter,  for  a  very  large  tooth. 

"  The  preference  of  the  Ashantees  for  the  Dagwumba  and  Inta 
markets,  for  silk  and  cloth,  results  not  merely  from  their  having 
been  so  long  accustomed  to  them,  but  because  they  admit  of  a 
barter  trade.  Tlie  Boossee  or  Gooroo  nut,  salt,  (which  is  easily  pro- 
cured, and  affords  an  extravagant  profit,)  and  small  quantities  of 
the  European  commodities,  rum,  and  iron,-f-  yield  them  those  arti- 
cles of  comfort  and  luxury,  which  they  can  only  purchase  with 
gold  and  ivory  from  the  settlements  on  the  coast.     Gold  they  are 

*  See  Sketch  of  Gaboon. 

■f  Though  iron  is  manufactured  in  Dagwumba,  that  from  Europe  is  preferred  for  finer 
purposes.  The  former  is  an  imperfect  steel  containing  a  mechanical  mixture  of  unre- 
duced ore. 


TRADE.  33o 

all  desirous  of  hoarding:  even  those  less  covetous  than  is  generally 
their  nature,  that  they  may  be  prepared  for  the  purchase  of  guns 
and  powder  to  a  large  extent,  on  any  sudden  war,  and  thus  ingra- 
tiate themselves  with  the  king  and  the  government.  Were  the 
Ashantees  a  commercial  people,  they  might  be  the  brokers  be- 
tween the  interior  and  Europeans,  or,  purchasing  supplies  more 
adequate  to  the  demands  of  their  neighbours  for  European  com- 
modities, which  would  be  bought  with  avidity,  realize  large  pro- 
perties. But  they  have  no  idea  of  buying  more  of  the  various 
articles  than  will  supply  themselves ;  and  leave  a  small  residue  to 
barter  for  the  cloth,  silk,  and  tobacco  in  the  Inta  and  Dagwumba 
markets,  They  are  as  little  commercial  as  the  Romans  were  in 
their  infancy,  and  their  government  would  repress  rather  than 
countenance  the  inclination,  (believing  no  state  can  be  aggrandized 
but  by  conquest,)  lest  their  genius  for  war  might  be  enervated  by 
it,  and  lest,  either  from  the  merchants  increasing  to  a  body  too 
formidable  for  their  wishes  to  be  resisted,  or  too  artful  from  their 
experience  to  be  detected,  they, might  sacrifice  the  national  honour 
and  ambition  to  their  avarice,  and  furnishing  Inta,  Dagwumba,  or 
any  of  their  more  powerful  neighbours  (who  have  yielded  to  cir- 
cumstances rather  than  force)  with  guns  and  powder  (which  are 
never  allowed  to  be  exported  from  Ashantee,*)  break  the  spell  of 
their  conquests,  and  undermine  their  power.  The  chiefs  are  fed 
bountifully  by  the  labours  of  their  slaves,  and  sharing  large  sums 
of  the  revenue,  (the  fines  their  oppression  has  imposed  on  other 

*  '•  Fire  arms  are  unknown  to  such  of  the  nations  on  the  south  of  the  Niger  as  the 
Shereef  has  visited  ;  and  the  reason  which  he  assigns  for  it  is,  that  the  kings  in  the  neighs 
bourhood  of  the  coast,  persuaded  that  if  these  powerful  instruments  of  war  should  reach 
the  possession  of  the  populous  inland  states,  their  own  independence  would  be  lost,  have 
strictly  prohibited,  and  by  the  wisdom  of  their  measures  have  effectually  prevented  this 
dangerous  merchandize  from  passing  beyond  the  limits  of  their  dominions."     Lucas 


336  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

governments,)  with  incalculable  fees  for  corruption  or  interference, 
refine  upon  the  splendor  of  equipage  even  to  satiety,  and  still  pos- 
sess a  large  surplus  of  income  daily  accumulating.  Were  they  to 
encourage  commerce,  pomp,  the  idol  of  which  they  are  most  jea- 
lous, would  soon  cease  to  be  their  prerogative,  because  it  would  be 
attainable  by  others ;  the  traders  growing  wealthy,  would  vie  with 
them ;  and  for  their  own  security',  stimulated  by  reflections  they 
have  now  too  little  at  risk  to  originate,  they  would  unite  to  repress 
the  arbitrary  power  of  the  Aristocracy ;  and  even  if  they  did  not, 
inevitably  (as  the  chiefs  conceive)  divert  the  people's  genius  for  war. 
It  will  occur  that  even  to  furnish  the  necessities  or  luxuries  of 
the  Ashantees  alone,  in  cloth,  silk,  &c.  would,  considering  the  ex- 
tent of  the  kingdom,  considerabl}^  augment  the  returns  of  our 
commerce  in  this  part  of  the  world  ;  and  therefore  it  would  be 
well  to  wean  them,  gradually,  from  the  markets  of  the  interior,  by 
inducing  their  cultivation  of  cotton,  which  grows  abundantly,  is  of 
a  superior  quality,  and  Avhich,  ofl'ered  in  quantities,  in  addition  to 
the  ivory,  would  lessen  the  balance  of  trade  now  in  our  favor,  and 
by  enabling  them,  in  some  degree  to  purchase  M'ith  produce  in- 
stead of  gold  dust,  remove  the  present  comparative  disadvantage 
in  trading  with  Europeans  entirely.  This  occurred  to  me,  and  I 
explained  the  view  not  only  to  the  king,  but  to  the  more  enter- 
prising and  reflecting  natives  :  but  they  had  no  idea  of  a  quantity, 
and  immediately  concluded  cotton  to  be  so  desirable  to  us,  that 
40  or  50  lbs.  would  be  received  in  barter  for  twenty  times  its  value; 
and  they  required  one  tokoo  and  a  half  per  lb.  for  it,  (sa}'^  one 
shilling,)  even  in  gold,  and  on  the  spot.  When  I  urged  that  they 
must  clear  the  ground,  form  plantations,  and  superintend  the 
labours  of  their  slaves  ;  they  replied,  that  the  Boossee  or  Gooroo 
nut  grew  spontaneously,  and  required  no  labour,  that  salt  was 
brought  to  their  frontier  by  poorer  nations^  and  sold  for  little  with- 


TRADE.  337 

out  the  trouble  of  fetching  it ;  and  these  articles,  with  the  value, 
their  prevention  of  all  intercourse  but  their  own  with  the  water 
side  nations,  attached  to  a  little  rum  and  iron  in  the  interior,  fur- ' 
nished  them  with  silks  and  cotton  cloths  at  a  much  easier  rate, 
pattern  and  quality. 

A  serious  disadvantage  opposed  to  the  English  trade,  is  that  the 
Ashantees  will  purchase  no  tobacco  but  the  Portuguese,  and  that 
eagerly  even  at  2  oz,  of  gold  the  roll.  Of  this,  (the  Portuguese  and 
Spanish  slave  ships  regularly  calling  at  Elmina,)  the  Dutch  Gover- 
nor-General is  enabled  to  obtain  frequent  supplies,  in  exchange  for 
canoes,  two  of  Avhich,  though  they  cost  him  comparatively  nothing, 
fetch  32  rolls  of  tobacco ;  and  the  General  has  sometimes  received 
80  oz.  of  gold  a  day  from  the  Ashantees  for  tobacco  only.  If  they 
cannot  have  this  tobacco,  they  will  content  themselves  with  that 
grown  in  the  interior,  of  which  I  have  brought  a  sample.  A  pre- 
ference for  the  Dutch  has  long  been  natural  to  the  Ashantees, 
from  an  earlier  though  limited  intercourse  with  them,  and  from  the 
natural  impression,  that  the  English  settling  amongst  their  enemies, 
the  Fantees,  have  encouraged  and  assisted  their  provocations  and 
resistance.  With  this  bias  in  his  favor,  though  the  Dutch  market, 
destitute  of  supplies,  had  not  been  visited  for  many  years,  the 
talent  of  General  Daendels,  "  callidum  quicquid  placuit,"  would 
no  doubt  have  again  raised  it  to  a  level  with  the  English,  caeteris 
paribus ;  and  his  unlimited  importation  of  powder  and  guns  in  the 
first  place,  with  the  still  more  valuable  supphes  of  Portuguese 
tobacco  he  receives  at  present,  as  superior  advantages,  have,  of 
course,  possessed  the  Dutch  market  of  superior  inducements. 

It  is  to  be  lamented,  the  indifference  of  the  Dutch  and  Danes 
to  their  settlements  here,  being  evident  from  their  neglect  and  re- 
duction of  them,  that  the  British  government  did  not  take  advan- 
tage of  the  disregard,  and  add  them  to  their  own.     Elmina  is  a 

X  X 


338  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

much  finer  position  for  head  quarters  than  Cape  Coast;  the 
Dutch  fort  at  Succondee,  the  best  point  for  the  Warsaw  trade,  and 
where  we  have  but  a  house,  is  strong,  admirably  situated,  and 
might  be  put  in  good  condition  for  £1000.  in  addition  to  which, 
Axim,  near  the  mouth  of  the  Ancobra,  would  be  the  only  fort  to 
windward  worth  keeping ;  and  the  Danish  head  quarters,  Chris- 
tiansburg  Castle  at  Accra,  with  their  fort  at  Adda,  (to  secure  the 
navigation  of  the  Volta,)  would  have  answered  every  purpose  and 
view  to  leeward.  One  system  could  then  have  been  acted  upon 
towards  the  natives,  the  commerce,  confined  to  the  English,  would 
have  grown  from  wholesome  regulations,  which  no  other  settlers 
could  counteract  by  selfishness,  jealousy,  or  by  facilitating  the 
illegitimate  trade  we  would  crush ;  and  the  benevolent  views  of  the 
British  government  for  the  improvement  and  civilization  of  the 
natives,  would  not  be  defeated  by  those,  who,  holding  their  private 
interest  superior  to  views  in  which  their  own  government  has 
evinced  no  interest,  militate  against  them  by  fostering  suspicions 
to  bar  our  progress  in  the  interior,  and  by  indulging  those  habits 
and  customs  of  the  natives,  which  it  must  be  OAir  first  step  to  correct 
and  divert. 

In  addition  to  the  obstacles  which  the  inconsistent  and  selfish 
conduct  of  the  diflferent  European  powers  towards  the  natives  pre- 
sents to  intercourse  and  civilization,  the  continuance  of  the  slave 
trade  under  the  Spanish  flag,  is  one  more  serious :  no  one  can 
imaeine  the  stubborn  impediment  it  was  to  our  negotiations  at 
Ashantee,  where  the  native  emissaries  from  these  slave  ships  arrived 
not  long  after  us.  It  not  only  injures  the  British  commerce  here, 
almost  to  annihilation,  but,  slaving  being  the  natural  trade  of  the 
natives,  because  it  is  the  most  indolent  and  the  most  lucrative,  the 
opposition,  which  is  insinuated  and  believed  to  proceed  from  the 
English  alone,  conveys  a  disagreeable  impression  of  us  to  the 


I 


TRADE.  339 

interior,  as  inauspicious  to  our  intercourse  and  progress,  as  the  even 
partial  continuance  of  such  a  trade  is  to  legitimate  commerce  and 
civilization.  One  thousand  slaves  left  Ashantee  for  two  Spanish 
schooners  or  Americans  under  that  flag,  to  our  knowledge,  during 
our  residence  there,  doubtless  the  whole  number  vvas  much  greater; 
since  our  return  it  must  have  been  very  considerable,  for  the  slave 
trade  was  never  more  brisk  than  it  is  at  this  moment  under  the 
cloak  of  the  Spanish  flag,  and  great  risk  has  been  incurred,  in  con- 
sequence, of  offending  our  new  friend  and  formidable  neighbour 
the  King  of  Ashantee,  from  the  firm  resistance  of  his  strong  intrea- 
ties  to  the  Governor  in  Chief,  to  allow  the  return  of  a  powerful 
mulatto  slave  trader  to  Cape  Coast  town,  whence  he  had  been 
expelled  under  the  present  government,  as  the  most  daring  pro- 
moter of  that  commerce.  It  is  a  great  pity,  in  the  infancy  of  our 
intercourse  with  this  great  interior  power,  that  there  should  have 
been  occasion  either  for  the  request  or  refusal;  which  there  would 
not  have  been  had  the  slave  trade  been  abolished,  instead  of 
crippled,  at  the  expense,  probably,  of  our  own  interests  and  views 
in  the  interior,  and,  which  is  worse,  of  the  happiness  and  improve- 
ment of  the  natives.  For  it  is  certainly  our  duty,  because  it  is  the 
most  acceptable  and  the  only  efficient  acknowledgment  we  can 
make  of  the  superior  blessings  and  endowments  by  which  we  are 
so  indulgently  distinguished  from  these  nations,  to  extend  the  in- 
fluence and  the  participation,  both  by  enterprise  and  pohcy,  even 
if  our  commerce  may  not  be  benefitted ;  and  if  we  gain  no  other 
recompense  than  the  satisfaction  of  our  own  minds  in  the  amelio- 
rated condition  of  others,  and  the  opportunity  we  have  made  to 
ourselves  of  exemphfying  our  own  gratitude.*     Whilst  one  slave 

*  Tlie  dissuasion  from  barbarities  of  which  millions  are  now  the  victims,  as  the 
descriptions  of  the  customs  of  Ashantee  and  the  interior  have  shewn,  and  the  interests  of 
science,  render  this  duty  more  imperious.    It  has  been  well  observed,  "  apologies  for  our 


340  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

ship  is  allowed  to  visit  this  coast,  the  great  convenience  and  the 
great  profits  of  the  trade  will  recur^  and  be  perpetuated  amongst 
the  Ashantees ;  they  will  linger  in  the  hope  of  its  entire  renewal, 
and  view  the  English  invidiously,  as  the  enemies  to  what  they  con- 
ceive to  be  their  only  natural  commerce ;  this  is  another  advantage 
to  the  Dutch,  added  to  the  inherent  bias  in  their  favour ;  and,  from 
the  reception  and  facilities  which  slave  ships  meet  with  at  Elmina, 
our  odium  is  aggravated  instead  of  being  participated.  "  Delenda 
est  Carthago." 

present  ignorance  of  every  thing  that  regards  geography,  &c.  might  be  pleaded  by  mer- 
cantile speculators,  but  can  have  little  weight  with  those  who  have  the  interests  of  science 
at  heart,  or  the  national  honour  and  fame,  whicii  are  intimately  connected  with  those 
interests.  It  was  not  with  a  view  to  any  immediate  commercial  advantages,  that  this 
liberal  encouragement  for  the  discovery  of  the  north-west  passage  was  held  out,  but 
with  the  same  expanded  objects  that  sent  Cook  in  search  of  a  southern  continent." 

Voltaire's  remark  on  India  is  now  only  applicable  to  Africa,  "  Plusieurs  y  ont  fait  des 
fortunes  immenses,  peu  se  sont  appliques  a  connoitre  ce  pays."  I  would  even  recommend 
indulging  the  wish  of  the  King  of  Dahomey  to  renew  and  perpetuate  his  connection  with 
the  English,  not  indeed  by  resuming  the  fort,  that  would  be  a  useless  expense,  as  there 
is  no  trade  but  in  ivory,  but  by  estabhshing  a  Residency  at  his  capital,  the  most  frugal 
method  of  collecting  the  various  accounts  of  the  interior  of  that  neighbourhood  for  geo- 
graphical investigators,  besides  supplying  the  naturalist.  Geographical  discoveries  in 
Africa  have  long  been  ardently  emulated  between  England  and  France,  and  they  have 
stimulated  a  generous  rivalry  of  investigation  between  the  men  of  science  of  both  countries. 
An  Englishman  first  penetrating  to  the  Niger,  and  determining  its  course  at  the  moment 
a  learned  investigator  of  the  other  kingdom  had  concluded  it  to  be  a  contrary  one,  was 
one  of  those  rational  and  illustrious  triumphs  which  adorn  the  historical  pages  of  a  nation 
much  more  than  those  of  war ;  for  the  gratification  and  the  benefit  is  shared  by  both, 
and  such  successes  cease  to  be  invidious  when  the  interests  of  science  are  thus  mutually  at 
heart.  The  following  immortal  tribute  from  a  classic  of  a  rival  nation,  should  stimulate 
us  to  challenge  as  illustrious  a  record  of  intellectual  research, 

-     -     -     -    "  monumentum  aere  perennius, 
Regalique  situ  pyramidum  altius;" 
by  a  correspondent  pursuit  of  intelligence  in  Africa. 

"  Un  Angljus,  d^truit  tout  ce  vain  amas  d'erreurs  dont  sont  remplies  nos  histoires  des 
Indes,  et  confirme  ce  que  le  petit  nombre  d'hommes  instruits  en  a  pense."    Voltaire. 


TRADE.  341 

Let  us  suppose  this  irreconcilable  obstacle  to  be  annihilated,  as 
no  doubt  it  will  be,  and  resume  our  reflections  on  a  commercial 
intercourse  with  the  interior.  The  people  of  Inta  and  Dagwumba, 
being  commercial  rather  than  warlike,  the  object,  deliberately  to 
be  obtained,  is  an  intercourse  with  them,  which  would  in  fact  be 
an  intercourse  with  the  interior  as  far  as  Timbuctoo  and  Houssa 
northwards,  and  Cassina,  if  not  to  Bornoo,  eastwards.  The  wealth, 
civilization,  and  commerce  of  Dagwumba,  Mr.  Lucas  has  before 
reported.  Now,  in  effecting  such  an  intercourse  through  the 
Ashantees,  who  are  indisputably  the  greatest  and  the  rising  power 
of  Avestern  Africa,  and  who,  having  acquired  their  present  extent 
of  influence  and  command  in  little  more  than  a  century,  may  be 
expected  to  aggrandize  their  empire  considerably ;  in  seeking  this 
connection  through  them,  there  are  these  adverse  circumstances, 
their  policy,  their  jealousy,  and  their  inaptitude  to  commerce.  It 
has  been  suggested  to  the  King,  and  urged  with  all  the  address  of 
General  Daendels,  to  open  a  path  to  the  interior  through  his  king- 
dom, and  to  receive  a  duty  or  tax  on  all  the  merchandize  tran- 
sported, which  would  afford  him  a  certain  and  considerable  addition 
to  his  revenue ;  but  even  this  appeal  to  the  avarice  of  the  Ashantee 
government  has  had  no  influence.  It  would  be  dangerous  as  well 
as  impolitic  to  offend  the  King  of  Ashantee  at  any  time,  with  the 
present  garrisons  of  the  forts,  madness ;  and  though  his  influence 
through  that  of  Dagwumba,  which  is  at  his  command,  would 
extend  to  the  Niger,  3^et,  I  think  our  anxiety  to  explore  so  far 
should  be  suppressed  for  two  or  three  years,  until  he  is  satisfied 
that  commerce  and  not  ambition  is  the  impulse.  But  in  the  interim, 
it  would  be  desirable  gradually  to  approach  Inta  and  Dagwumba, 
by  establishing  a  settlement  up  the  Volta,  which  has  been  shewn 
to  run  close  to  Sallagha,  the  grand  emporium  of  Inta,  and  is  navi- 
gable within  four  days  of  it ;  and  possibly  might  be  made  so  even 


342  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

nearer.  The  Danes  would  no  doubt  relinquish  their  claim  to  the 
navigation  ot"  the  Volta,  for  it  is  a  doubtful  one.  Dalzel  writes, 
"  the  Danes  claim  the  exclusive  navigation  of  the  Volta,  which  is 
disputed  by  the  English,  who  have  a  settlement  near  it,  called 
Loy."  The  great  prices  the  Ashantees  get  for  rum,  iron,  &c.  from 
the  people  of  Inta  and  Dagwumba,  and  the  avidit}^  with  which 
the}'  purchase  their  small  supplies,  leave  no  doubt  of  the  eagerness 
with  which  they  would  resort  to  our  market ;  and  the  silks  they  • 
obtain  from  Fezzan  being  dearer  than  our  own,  I  should  think  we 
could  induce  a  preference.  Our  Manchester  cloth  and  cotton 
manufactures  would  be  novel  and  useful  to  them,  as  those  I  saw 
wore  vests  and  tunics.  But  here  I  must  observe,  that  whenever 
our  commerce  with  the  interior  may  be  established,  the  returns  of 
it,  in  my  opinion,  will  fall  short  of  the  general  idea  and  expectation. 
The  King  of  Ashantee  viewing  our  settlements  on  the  Volta, 
would,  I  have  no  doubt,  be  reconciled  by  our  undertaking  to  sell 
neither  guns  or  powder  to  any  but  his  own  people ;  a  measure  due 
to  humanity  as  Avell  as  policy,  for  the  preponderance  of  one  great 
nation  is  auspicious  to  the  civilization  as  well  as  the  tranquillity  of 
Africa ;  but  for  that,  the  slaughter  of  the  human  species  would  be 
incalculable;  there  would  be  a  constant  warfare  between  the  numer- 
ous states,  naturally  querulous,  and  our  passage  to  the  interior 
would  be  impossible,  not  only  on  that  account,  but  because  there 
would  be  no  powerful  monarch  to  recommend  or  protect  us.  If 
the  King  of  Ashantee  were  not  satisfied  with  our  new  settlement 
confining  the  trade  of  guns  and  powder  to  himself,  he  would  cer- 
tainly be  repressed  by  the  alarming  reflection,  that  it  was  at  our 
discretion,  (depending  on  his  behaviour,)  to  supply  Inta  and  Dag- 
wumba with  both,  and  thus  to  undermine  his  empire ;  for  it  is  well 
known,  and  has  been  confessed,  that  the  greater  population  of  these 
countries,  could  they  but  procure  fire-arms,  would  give  them  a 


TRADE.  343 

superiority  over  the  Ashantees,  to  which  their  greater  civiHzation 
seems  to  entitle  them.  Our  force  and  establishments  should  be 
respectable ;  not  to  arrogate  or  to  intrude,  but  to  protect  the  legi- 
timate commercial  views,  sanctioned  and  invited  by  the  voice  of 
less  arbitrary  powers,  and  also  to  make  their  first  impression  of  the 
English  imposing  and  preservative.  Residencies  should  be  esta- 
blished at  these  courts,  and  young  men  of  talent,  temper,  and 
discrimination  be  found  to  fill  them,  collecting  the  geographical 
and  statistical  desiderata,  and  forwarding  them  to  be  investigated 
and  digested  into  one  report  at  head  quarters,  before  they  were 
transmitted  to  England.  One  or  two  intelligent  Moors  might  also 
be  engaged  to  trade  by  different  routes,  and  minute  the  directions, 
distances,  and  descriptions  of  the  several  places ;  thus  paving  the 
way,  and  lessening  the  difficulties  of  a  future  Mission  to  the  Niger. 
If  the  working  of  gold  mines  were  also  an  object,  the  vicinity  of  the 
Ancobra  affords  a  rich  field  ;  and  a  small  district  might  either  be 
purchased  of  the  natives,  or  they  might  receive  a  dividend  of  the 
proceeds,  which  would  produce  them  much  more  than  their  pre- 
sent inadequate  researches,  suppressed  by  their  more  powerful 
neighbours  the  Warsaws. 

The  benevolent  and  politic  views  of  the  British  Government, 
would  thus,  by  making  use  of  what  we  have  or  might  easily  get,  be 
more  probably,  if  not  more  speedily  reaUzed,  than  by  the  perilous, 
desultory,  and  limited  enterprises  of  two  or  three  individuals. 


34i  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 


CHAPTER  IX. 


La7iguage. 

1  II  E  hypothesis  I  have  met  with,  I  think  in  Parsons's  Remains  of 
Japhet,  that  the  confusion  of  languages  at  Babel  was  a  visitation 
on  the  family  of  Ham  only,  which  spread  itself  over  Africa,  is  cer- 
tainly supported  (considering  the  radical  affinities  which  have  been 
traced  between  the  Arabic  the  Russ  and  the  Greek,  the  Persian 
and  the  German,  the  Qquichua,  or  language  of  the  Incas,  and 
the  Sanscrit,  and  many  others*)  by  the  variety  of  languages  in 
Africa  which  cannot  be  assimilated  in  the  least  degree  to  each 
other,  and  which  would,  I  think,  resist  the  laborious  ingenuity  of 
the  philologist. 

I  have  heard  about  half  a  dozen  words  in  the  Fantee,  which 
might  be  said  to  be  not  unlike  the  same  nouns  in  the  Welsh  lan- 
guage; and  this  is  the  only  affinity  which  has  been  imagined. 
Two  words  only  in  the  Accra  language  have  struck  me  as  assimi- 
lating to  those  of  any  other,  the  conjunction  "  kai/  "  (and),  which 

*  The  eastern  and  western  branch  of  this  polai-  race,  the  Eskimoes  and  the  Tschou- 
gazes,  notwithstanding  the  enormous  distance  of  800  leagues  which  separates  them,  are 
united  by  the  most  intimate  analogy  of  languages.  This  analogy  extends,  as  has  been  re- 
cently proved  in  the  most  evident  manner,  even  to  the  inhabitants  of  the  north-east  of  Asia ; 
for  the  idiom  of  the  Tschouktshes  at  the  mouth  of  the  Anadin  has  the  same  roots,  as  the 
language  of  the  Eskimoes  who  inhabit  the  coast  of  America  opposite  to  Europe.  The 
Tsphouktsches  are  the  Eskimoes  of  Asia.     Humbolt,  P.  N.  v.  3,  p.  291. 


LANGUAGE.  345 

with  a  broader  sound  would  answer  the  corresponding  Greek  con- 
junction Ktxf,  and  fai  {to  do,)  pronounced  as  the  perfect  participle 
of  the  same  verb  in  French,  and  which  is  spelled  fai  in  the  old 
songs  of  Richard  the  first,  and  the  troubadour  Faydit.  The 
Fantee  word  iimpa  {true,  indeed,)  may  be  imagined  to  resemble  the 
Greek  s^juTrccg,  which  has  the  same  meaning;  but  it  is  a  solitary 
instanc  e 

From  Apollonia  or  Amanaheato  the  Volta,  about  300  miles,  six 
languages  are  spoken :  the  Amanahea,  Ahanta,  Fantee,  AfFoottoo, 
Accra,  and  the  Adampe.  The  numerals  of  which  will  appear,  colla- 
terally with  others  hitherto  unknown,  at  the  end  of  this  chapter. 

The  Ashantee,  in  comparison  with  the  Fantee,  Warsaw,  &c.  &c. 
from  its  refinement  of  idiom,  oratory  being  so  much  more  cultivated, 
may  be  considered  as  the  Attic  amongst  the  dialects  of  the  Greek, 
but  it  owes  its  superior  euphony,  striking  to  any  ear,  to  the  cha- 
racteristics of  the  Ionic,  an  abundance  of  vowel  sounds,  and  a 
rejection  of  aspirates  : 

Fantee.  Ashantee. 

Key     -         -     Safie         -         Saphwooa. 

Lock         -         Karradacoo       Karradoo. 

Night         -        Adayfwa      -     Adagio. 

Day     -         -     Aweeabil     -      Aweeabillee. 

Gun  -  Etoorh      -         Oteuh. 

Vocabularies  of  these  languages  would  not  be  interesting  to  the 
public,  especially  as  no  affinity  can  be  traced  ;  and  I  know  not 
how  to  acquit  myself  of  every  thing  like  indifference  to  the  curiosity 
at  home,  (without  the  dulness  of  the  subject  proving  more  irksome 
than  a  disappointment,)  unless  I  endeavour  to  give  an  idea  of  the 
philosophy  of  the  languages,*  and  submit  their  progress,  collaterally 

*  "  I  am  aware  that  languages  are  much  more  strongly  characterised  by  their  structure 
and  grammatical  forms,  than  by  the  analogy  of  their  sounds  and  of  their  roots ;  and  that 

Yy 


340  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

with  that  of  the  arts  and  manners.  The  genius  of  the  Accra  lan- 
guage differing  the  most  essentiall}'  from  that  of  the  Ashantee  or 
Fantee,  examples  from  both  will  be  instanced  for  illustration.  I 
have  principally  consulted  two  gentlemen,  natives  of  the  country, 
but  educated  in  Europe:  the  one  resident  between  forty  and  fifty 
years ;  the  other,  who  has  a  respectable  knowledge  of  the  grammar 
of  the  English  and  French  languages,  returned  Ironi  England 
about  ten  years  back,  and  both  are  as  fluent  as  the  Negroes  in  the 
Fantee  and  Accra,  the  latter  being  their  vernacular  tongue. 

Impressed  with  the  ingenious  hypothesis  of  the  learned  author 
of  the  Diversions  of  Purley,  my  first  care  has  been  to  investigate 
the  particles  of  the  Fantee  and  Accra,  considering  the  languages 
of  uncivilised  people,  to  be  least  advanced  or  removed  from  the 

their  analogy  of  sounds  is  sometimes  so  disfigured  in  the  different  dialects  of  the  same 
tongue,  as  not  to  be  distinguishable  ;  for  the  tribes  into  which  a  nation  is  divided,  often 
designate  the  same  objects  by  words  altogether  heterogeneous.  Hence  it  follows,  that  we 
are  aslly  mistaken,  if,  neglecting  the  study  of  the  inflexions,  and  consulting  only  the 
roots,  for  instance  the  words  which  designate  the  moon,  sky,  water,  and  earth,  we  decide 
on  the  absolute  difference  of  two  idioms  from  the  simple  want  of  resemblance  in  sounds." 
Humboldt's  Personal  Narrative,  vol.  iii.  p.  251. 

I  am  gratified  to  find,  since  my  return  to  England,  and  consequent  perusal  of  the 
Congo  publication,  that  my  investigations  of  these  languages  have  happened  to  be  con- 
sonant with  the  instructions  of  Mr.  IMarsden  in  his  letter  to  Captain  Tuckey,  as  appears 
from  the  following  extract.  "  Where  a  longer  residence  admits  of  freer  intercourse,  and 
a  means  of  acquiring  a  more  perfect  knowledge  of  the  language,  it  will  be  desirable, 
besides  attempting  to  fill  up  the  larger  vocabulary,  that  pains  should  be  taken  to  examine 
its  grammatical  structure,  and  to  ascertain,  for  instance,  how  the  nominative  and  sub- 
junctive words  in  a  sentence  are  placed  with  I'espect  to  the  verb;  how  the  adjective  with 
regai"d  to  the  substantive  ;  how  plurals  and  degrees  of  comparison  are  formed ;  whether 
there  is  any  kind  of  inflexion  or  variation  of  syllables  of  the  same  word,  according  to  its 
position  in  the  sentence  and  connection  with  other  words ;  whether  the  pronouns  personal 
vary  according  to  the  rank  or  sex  of  the  person  addressing  or  person  addressed ;  and 
whether  tliey  are  incorporated  with  the  verb ;  and  to  observe  any  other  peculiarities  of 
idiom,  that  the  language  may  present ;  noting  the  degree  of  softness,  hai-shness,  indis- 


LANGUAGE. 


847 


primeval  simplicity,  to  which  Mr.  Home  Tooke's  system  refers.  I 
found,  however,  both  the  Accra  and  Fantee  languages  more  com- 
plete than  I  expected  in  conjunctions,  and  seldom  using  verbs 
instead  of  them,  Avhich  I  presumed  they  might  do.  Yet  I  have  no 
doubt,  their  half  dozen  of  conjunctions,  if  examined  etymologically 
by  a  person  thoroughly  conversant  in  the  languages,  might  be 
traced,  and  shewn  to  be  the  contracted  imperatives  of  the  most 
recurrent  verbs,  as  Mr.  Tooke  has  proved  those  of  our  own  lan- 
guage to  be.  Neither  the  Accra  or  Fantee  have  conjunctions 
answering  to  each  of  ours ;  the  distinction  between  many  is  neither 
comprehensible  or  necessary  to  them.  I  will  submit  their  conjunc- 
tions, Avith  those  investigated  in  the  first  volume  of  the  Diversions 
of  Purley. 


Fantee. 
Onee    - 

Sey     - 

Emphee 

Interah 

Namoo 

Anna 


Accra. 
Kay 


-     and 

L  unless 

r  still 

Ibut 

r because 

1  since     - 

f  notwithstanding 

I  though 

rotherwise      -      „    „ 
i    _  Noollay 


Kedgee 

Shee 

Nooyewon 
Nunne 

Nemoolay 


.or 


tinctness,  intonation,  guttural  sounds,  and  the  prevalence  or  deficiency  of  any  particular 
letters  of  the  alphabet,  as  we  should  term  them,  such  as  R  and  F.  The  extent  of  country 
over  which  a  language  is  understood  to  prevail  should  also  be  a  subject  of  investigation ; 
and,  by  what  others  it  is  bounded  on  every  side.  Also,  whether  there  may  not  be  a 
correct  language  of  communication  between  nations,  whose  proper  languages  are  dis- 
tmct."  I  think  the  very  frequent  use  of  q  is  one  distinguishing  character  of  African 
languages  .■  the  r  andy are  very  frequent,  the  latter  especially ;  the  former  as  a  hquid  is 


348  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

There  are  no  adverbs  in  either  hinguage.  There  are  but  two  in 
our  own  which  may  not  be  expressed  by  a  verb  or  an  adnoun, 
still  and  since ;  and  these  they  express  by  the  conjunctions  hut  and 
because.  "  I  intreated,  but  (still)  he  would  not,"  "  because  (since) 
it  is  so,"  as  the  Latins  frecjuently  used  prepositions  for  the  Greek 
adverbs.  Indeed  since  is  expressible  by  a  verb,  being  derived 
according  to  Mr.  Tooke  from  the  Saxon  sithan,  seeing  that.  They 
express  the  adverb  much  by  the  adjective  many  ;  ago  by  a  verb, "  it 
passes  ten  years  ;"  almost  by  the  verb  it  wants,  "  it  wants  to  rain ;" 
and  when  by  a  noun,  "  the  time  I  was  there,"  coincident  with 
Jones's  derivation  of  ore.*  Nooyewon,  {because)  in  Accra,  is  lite- 
rally, "/b?-  the  sake  of."  Tnterah,  the  corresponding  word  in  Fantee, 
"  on  the  head  of,"  {tirree  is  head)  thus,  they  would  say,  "  I  do  this 
on  your  head,"  or  because  you  told  me.  Lest,  which  is  considered 
by  Mr.  Home  Tooke  to  be  the  past  participle  of  the  Saxon  verb 
leyan,  to  dismiss,  is  not.to  be  found  either  in  the  Accra  or  Fantee : 
in  the  former  they  would  say,  "  Menkaw  hauh  ehbebdrdcU,'  "  do 
not  go  there,  you  fall  down ;"  and  in  the  latter,  "  Kaiheah  djai 
nee  ohe'dbwayshee,"  "  do  not  go  there,  and  (or  for)  you  fall  down.'' 
The  use  of  the  noun  for  the  adverb  is  frequent  in  Demosthenes, 
( "  igi  htcuLoq  E%e<i/,"  "  he  justly  deserves  ")  and  can  only  be  accounted 
for  in  a  prose  writer,  Avho  does  not  need  poetical  licenses,  as  an 
archaism,  disused  generally,  through  invention  or  refinement.  The 
term  adverb  i?  not  a  jlisl  indication  of  the  origin  of  that  part  of 
speech,  for,  although  they  are  derived  from  verbs  as  well  as  nouns, 

frequently  substituted  for  I,  as  I  have  illustrated  in  the  Chapter  on  Geography.  Their 
pronunciation  of;:  approximates  to  that  of  the  aspro  z  of  the  Italians.  I  hope  to  have 
leisure  and  opportunity  hereafter  for  paying  this  subject  more  attention.     I  have  not  yet 

had  time  to  make  sufficient  progress  in  German  to  read  Vater's  Mithridatis,  M'hich  will 

.     'v.- ,.  ;iu;:;;i;  ;:—    .■-■-    '.'  ■''  ''Vy'^'r 

no  doubt  assist  my  observations.  . .    i   ■  ■ 

*  From  the  Hebrew  nnr,  ote,  time,  has  flowed  It'.,  zvlien ;  wliich  r,  -n,  ov,  being  pre- 
fixed, becomes  tots,  ttote,  ottot;." 


LANGUAGE.  349 

yet,  in  our  own  language,  as  well  as  in  the  Greek,  following  Mr. 
Home  Tooke,  the  greater  number  are  derived  from  nouns :  and 
those  (of  which  there  are  some  in  the  Greek)  which  may  be  indif- 
ferently derived  from  a  noun,  or  a  verb,  may  be  referred  to  the 
former;  because,  many  of  the  adnouns  from  which  adverbs  are 
derived  in  the  Greek,  have  been  pointed  out  as  disused  ;  and 
therefore  the  verbs  from  which  adverbs  are  exclusively  derived, 
are  likely  to  be  derived  themselves  from  obsolete  adnouns,  which 
cannot  be  recalled;  for  it  has  been  philosophically  advanced,  that 
originally  there  could  have  been  but  one  sort  of  words,  that  is, 
nouns,  or  the  names  of  the  objects  of  our  sensations  and  ideas.* 

I  consider  the  absence  of  adverbs,  participles,  and  prepositions, 
certainly  the  least  indispensible  parts  of  speech,  and  favouring 
copiousness  rather  than  energy,  to  be  a  j)roof  of  the  almost  genuine, 
or  primeval  simplicity  of  the  Accra  and  Fantee  languages,  which 
have  not  advanced  or  altered,  even  in  the  small  degree  of  their  arts 
or  manners;  for  these  have  only  been  ameliorated  by  commercial 
intercourse  with  strangers,  who  not  understanding  their  language 
could  not  have  suggested  improvements,  and  from  whose  languages, 
they  being  equally  unintelligible,  amendments  could  not  have  been 
copied.  We  find  Portuguese  nouns,  and  nouns  only,  adopted  in 
the  Fantee ;  and  that,  of  necessity,  as  Saxon  nouns  were  adopted 
in  the  Welsh  or  Celtic,  because  they  had  no  words  to  designate 
novelties  they  had  never  before  seen  or  heard  of;  and,  therefore, 
they  called  them  as  those  did  who  introduced  them.  These  primi- 
tive languages  being,  nevertheless,  thoroughly  adequate  to  oratory 

*  "  Every  verb  consists  of  a  pronoun,  expressing  an  agent,  and  of  a  noun,  or  the  sub- 
stitute of  a  noun,  expressing  an  object.  Thus,  oivoj  and  syco  joined  and  abbreviated  is 
oivooi ;  and  this  term  would  be  sufficient  to  express  /  drink  wine,  though  originally  it 
meant  on\y  ■wi7ie  I ;  association  supplying  to  the  speaker  and  the  person  addressed  the 
intermediate  notion  ofdrinl-iiig.'''     Jones. 


350  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

as  well  as  the  commoner  purposes  of  speech,  is  a  strong  proof  that 
language  was  revealed,  as  Johnson,  Blair,  Warburton,  and  others 
have  maintained,  and  that  it  was  not  the  fruit  of  human  inven- 
tion or  industry,  as  Lucretius,  Horace,  and  most  of  the  antients 
imagined. 

Neither  the  Accra  or  Fantee  distinguish  genders,  the  name  of 
the  person,  or  the  context,  is  the  onl}'^  explication;  they  have  not 
even  a  third  person  feminine,  but  one  pronoun  serves  for  he, 
she,  it. 

The  Accra  has  a  definite  and  indefinite  article,  but  both  are 
affixed  to  the  noun,  as  "  minna  nooleh,"  I  saw  the  man;  "  minna 
nooJcoo,"  I  saw  a  man.  The  indefinite  article  "  koo"  is  the  con- 
traction of  numeral  one,  "  ekoo,"  so  that  I  saw  a  man,  is  literally 
"  I  saw  man  one."  An  is  simply  another  form  of  the  numeral 
one,  still  used  in  North  Britain  under  the  form  ane ;  and  in  the 
French,  the  numeral  and  the  article  corresponding  to  one,  are  the 
same.  The  Fantee,  like  the  Greek,  has  no  indefinite  article,  or 
according  to  Mr.  Harris's  expression,  on  which  Mr.  Home  Tooke 
is  so  pleasant,  "  supplies  it  by  a  negation  of  the  definite,"  which 
is  "  noo,"  affixed,  as  "  mehoon  nimpanoo,"  I  saw  the  man.* 

*  The  word  caboceer  {chief,)  which  I  have  used  in  the  correspondence,  history,  and 
other  parts  of  this  work,  as  the  only  title  familiar  to  Europeans,  (being  always  substi- 
tuted, even  by  native  interpreters  for  the  vernacular,)  was  of  course  introduced  by  the 
Portuguese,  and  consequently  unknown  in  the  interior.  It  is  applied  to  a  chief  who  has 
the  charge  or  government  of  a  town,  (croom.)  Such  however  are  indiscriminately  called 
ohen  or  king,  in  Fantee.  Throughout  Ashantee  the  monarch  only  is  called  ohcnnie  or 
Icing,  and  the  chiefs  who  have  the  care  or  government  of  the  towns  of  his  dominions, 
safihen.  Safie  or  saphivooa,  means  Tcey,  and  the  last  syllable  of  the  compound,  hen,  is 
evidently  an  abbreviation  of  ohennie.  Safie,  a  charm,  is  without  doubt  identical  in  a 
figurative  sense  with  safee,  Tiey ;  and  should,  on  consideration,  be  spelt  as  such,  and  not 
saphie  as  I  have  generally  written  it  hitherto.  A  Moor  is  called  Crambo  by  the  Negroes 
of  the  interior,  which  bears  the  same  interpretation  as  Pongheme,  a  Spaniard,  in  the 
Tamanack,  i.  e.  a  man  clothed. 


LANGUAGE. 


S51 


In  the  Accra,  the  plural  is  formed  by  inflection,  epenthesis, 
paragoge,  and  apocope :  these  changes  are  almost  peculiar  in  every 
noun ;  the  more  frequent  inflections  are,  ai,  ay,  and  ee. 

Singular.  Plural. 

A  woman     -         -     yeo      -         -     yeay. 

A  box     -  -      adikka         -     adikkai. 

A  stone         -         -   teh     -         -      tai. 

Ground     -         -        shepong     -       shepongee. 

A  hyaena         -  krang         -       krangee. 

A  father  -        tchay       -         tchayme. 

A  liar     -  -       amalialo      -     amallaloi. 

A  gun      -         -         toon     -         -  tween. 

A  vessel         -  lelen         -        ledgene. 

A  man     -  -     noon         -       nhal. 

A  house  -         tchoon     -         tchue. 

In  the  Fantee  the  plural  number  is  distinguished  by  the  prefix 
en,  though  generally,  if  they  can,  (in  a  glance  whilst  speaking)  dis- 
cover the  number  of  objects,  they  use  a  numeral  with  the  noun 
singular  ;  or,  if  they  cannot  be  so  precise  in  the  instant,  they  sub- 
stitute mam/  to  mark  an  indefinite  number.  The  Chinese  also,  are 
said  to  drop  their  plural  adjunct  "  tnin,"  when  there  is  another 
word  of  plurality  attached  to  the  noun. 

Neither  language  has  prepositions,  and  of  course  peraphrasis  is 
generally  resorted  to :  conjunctions  are  sometimes  substituted,  as 
and  for  with ;  occasionally  verbs,  as  "  the  King  to  give  his  captain," 
for  to  his  captain ;  and,  sometimes,  they  are  presumed  from  the  tone 
or  the  context.  Mr.  Home  Tooke,  who  values  prepositions  very 
much,  has  traced  all  but  five,  of  our  own  language,  to  nouns  and 
verbs ;  and  of  these  five,  three  have  since  been  traced  to  nouns 
and  a  numeral ;  so  that  out  and  off,  only,  are  unaccounted  for. 
Jones,  in  his  Greek  Grammar,  writes,  "  the  roots  of  prepositions 


352  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

are  nouns  and  verbs,"  and,  accordingly,  he  derives  utto  from  the 
Hebrew,  ab,  a  stem,  'rrtpi  from  the  Arabic  j^e^-a,  eminence,  uTrep  from 
the  Hebrew  aber,  sky,  or  the  Persian  ober,  a  cloud  :  the  insepar- 
able prepositions  had  been  traced  to  nouns  and  verbs  long  before. 
Degrees  of  comparison  are  not  expressed  by  adjectives  or 
adverbs,  in  either  language:  but,  for  he  is  richer  than"  he,  the 
Accras  would  say,  "  eh  phay  leh  ne ;  "  the  Fantees,  "  azo  tchen 
acke,"  he  passes  him  (in)  things  :  neither  language  has  an  adjective 
answering  to  rich  or  wealthy,  but  "  jie,"  and  "  adee,"  in  both, 
corsespond  exactly  in  meaning  and  use  with  the  res  of  the  Latins : 
the  superlative  would  be  expressed  by  "  he  passes  all."  The  antient 
idiom  of  comparison,  antecedent  to  the  general  use  of  inflections  or 
adverbs,  was  probably  similar,  judging  from  the  following,  and 
many  other  sentences  in  the  Greek,  "  Ux^'  laurov  [^riSsvcc  sTTiT-^Setov 
^ystTo,  he  thought  no  body  fitter  than  himself;"  "  mXelovo?  Jo|?jj  -zzrapa 
Mua-r,v  i^iuTxi,  Heb.  xiii.  he  was  counted  of  more  glory,  or  more 
glorious  than  Moses."  Here  Tnupx,  so  frequently  expressing  com- 
parison, being  derived  from  the  verb  Trspocu,  to  pass,  is  identical  with 
the  Accra  and  Fantee  expression, 

I  observed  before  that  the  Accra  and  Fantee  have  no  adjective 
answering  to  rich,  they  are  also  deficient  in  many  others,  which 
they  supply  by  a  second  substantive  in  the  same  manner.  This 
idiom  is  found  in  the  Greek,  "  To  o-Wjtta  tijj  Tccn-eivucreug  ^[a.uv,  our 
humiliated  body,  the  body  of  our  humiliation ;"  Aipea-etg  ctTnuXeixi. 
destructive  heresies,  &c.  &c."  and  it  is  said  to  be  both  a  Hebrew 
and  Celtic  idiom ;  primeval  languages,  and  the  latter,  I  presume,  as 
rude  as  those  we  are  investigating. 

In  the  Accra,  the  personal  pronouns  are 

I     -         -      me 

thou         -      boh 

he,  she,  it       Iheh 


LANGUAGE.  353 

tve     -         -     whah 
you  -        nnheay 

they  -  -  amay 
Me  is  generally  reduplicate  before  verbs,  as  "  me  me  yay,"  I  eat. 
Boh  before  verbs  generally  suffers  aphaeresis  as  "  oh  yay,"  thou 
eatest,  but  sometimes  not,  as  "  hoh  fai,"  thou  doest :  this  is  also 
the  case  with  Iheh  as  "  heh  yay,  Iheh  fai."  Me  is  added,  as  ?net 
in  Latin,  to  make  these  pronouns  compound.  In  Fantee  the  per-» 
sonal  pronouns  are 

I     -         -     me 

thou       -      awaw 

he,  she,  it    narra 

we       -        yarra 

you       -        awoo 

they  -  warra ; 
the  latter  is  used  as  a  possessive  pronoun  also ;  woodde  is  affixed 
to  make  them  compound  ;  they  are  irregularly  contracted  before 
verbs.  Considering  these  barbarous  languages  of  primitive  sim- 
plicity, and  recollecting  the  original  and  philosophical  deduction 
of  pronouns  from  verbs,  by  the  Greek  professor  of  Glasgow,  as  gyw 
or  iyuv  (which  is  the  more  ancient)  from  XB<yuv,  ipse  from  bttu,  I  par- 
ticularly enquired  for  verbs  resembling  their  pronouns ;  but,  after 
a  long  and  diligent  recollection,  neither  of  my  authorities  could 
furnish  me  with  any  to  the  point.  It  is  curious  to  observe,  that  the 
me  represents  the  pronoun  I,  in  both  these  rude  languages,*  as  it 
does,  though  not  in  the  nominative  case,  in  most  other  primi- 
tive languages,  and  in  the  modern  ones  derived  from  them :  it 
would  seem  to  be  the  natural  and  involuntary  expression  for  that 
pronoun. 

There  is  only  an  active  voice  in  the  Accra  or  Fantee;  the  pas- 

*  It  is  also  found  in  the  Empoonga,  and  other  African  languages, 
z  z 


354  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

sive  is  expressed  by  a  circumlocution,  as  he  loves,  or  they  love  me, 
for  1  am  loved,  &c.*  It  appears  erroneous  to  consider  the  infinitive 
mood  as  the  root  of  the  verb,  when  it  has  a  separable  or  distinguish- 
ing termination,  and  mo7ig  is  as  distinctly  the  verbalizing  adjunct 
in  the  Accra  language,  as  ere  or  are  in  the  Latin,  iiv  in  Greek,  or 
an  in  the  Anglo-Saxon.  If  we  consider  the  imperative  as  the 
divested  fundamental  form  of  the  verb,  it  is  still  difficult  in  these 
languages  to  get  at  the  root,  for  the  use  of  the  infinitive  for  the  im- 
perative, occasional  in  the  Greek,  is,  in  the  Accra,  so  general,  that 
for  some  time  I  thought  it  unexceptionable,  and  that  it  had  not  the 
two  moods. 

The  Accra  has  the  neuter  verb  to  he  in  the  present,  perfect,  and 
future  tenses,  but  in  the  perfect,  it  is  irregular. 

I  am         I  have  been         I  shall  be 
meyeh  metay  mahy  eh 

The  Fantee  only  has  it  in  the  present,  "  oh  yea,  he  is."  It  is  re- 
markable that  even  the  linguists  of  our  forts,  who  speak  English 
fluently,  never  understand  or  use  our  neuter  verb  to  be,  but  sub- 
stitute live  for  it,  and  that,  whether  they  speak  of  animate  or 
inanimate  things ;  a  servant  would  say,  "  your  keys  live  in  your 
pocket." 

The  imperative  mood  has  a  present  tense  complete  in  each 
language. 

They  express  the  potential  mood  by  adding  auxiliary  verbs,  such 
as  our  can,  may,  &c.,  have  been  shewn  to  be  derived  from. 

The  termination  of  the  infinitive  in  the  Accra  is  generally  niong, 

*  "  The  distinction  of  active  and  passive  is  not  essential  to  verbs.  In  the  infancy  of 
language,  it  was  in  all  probability  not  known ;  in  Hebrew,  the  difference  but  imperfectly 
exists,  and  in  the  early  periods  of  it,  possibly  did  not  exist  at  all.  In  Arabic,  tlie  only 
distinction  which  obtains,  arises  from  the  vowel  points,  a  late  invention  compared  with  the 
antiquity  of  that  language.  And  in  our  own  tongue  the  names  of  active  and  passive  would 
have  remained  unknown,  if  they  had  not  been  learnt  in  Latin."    Jones. 


LANGUAGE.  355 

which  is  rejected   in  conjugating.     In  the  Fantee  it  is  not  dis- 
tinguished from  the  first  person  present,  or  root.    The  use  of  the 
infinitive  mood,  even  in  Accra,  is  very  circumscribed,  fior  it  is  not 
found  even  in  the  most  natural  case  when  two  verbs  come  together, 
as  I  want  to  eat,  for  whicii  they  say,  "  ineton  meyay,"  I  want  I 
eat.    The  infinitive  is  generally   used  for  the  imperative  in  the 
Accra,  but,  otherwise,  it  only  occurs  in  an  idiom  almost  peculiar 
to  that  language,  for  instance,  for  are  you  walking  now,  they  say, 
"  iVeomong  oh  neo  neh," 
"  To  walk  are  you  walking  now." 
For  I  am  straightening  it, 

"  Jadjumong  mejadjio  leh." 
"  To  straighten  I  am  straightening  it." 
Verbs  are  invariably  used  thus,  interrogatively,  and,  generally,  in 
replies.     I  said  almost  peculiar,  because  I  think  this  pleonasm  is 
identified  in  the  Greek  idiom,  "  Ou%<  f^evov  a-oi  ef^eve.  Remaining,  did 
it  not  remain  to  thee." 

The  Accra  has  the  present,  imperfect,  perfect,  and  future  tenses : 
the  imperfect  and  future  being  distinguished  by  the  prefixes  blek 
and  ah,  the  one  before,  the  other  after  the  pronoun. 

"  me  yayne.    bleh  me  yayne.    me  yay.    m'ahye." 
I  eat  it.         I  was  eating  it.     I  eat.        I  will  eat. 
But  the  imperfect  tense  is  never  used,  unless  a  sentence  precedes 
it,  as 

"  Bennay  heh  ba  bleh  me  yay.^' 
"  When  he  came  I  was  eating." 
Otherwise,  they  use  the  perfect  for  the  imperfect,  never  replying 
to  a  question  even,  in  the  latter.  The  perfect  is  only  distinguished 
from  the  present  by  being  pronounced  short.  These  explicative 
particles,  bleh  and  ah,  would,  no  doubt,  be  found  to  be  remnants 
of  verbs  of  appropriate  signification,  as  the  ai  of  the  French  future 


356  MISSION  TO  ASIIANTEE. 

is  derived  from  avoir,  were  any  j)hilologist  sufficiently  acquainted 
with  the  languages  to  investigate  them.  Ne,  signifying  it  or  thing, 
is  adjoined  to  many  verbs,  frequently  in  the  present  tense  only, 
like  the  explicative  particle  en  conjugated  with  "  alley." 

The  Fantee  has  a  present,  perfect,  and  pluperfect :  as  "  me 
dedee,''  I  eat,  "  me  adee,"  I  have  eaten,  "  me  waya  dedee,"  I  had 
eat.  It  has  no  future,  yet  the  time  is  marked  precisely,  by  adding 
soon,  to-morrow.  Sec.  to  the  present. 

Neither  language  has  participles ;  for,  I  see  him  coming,  the 
Accras  w^ould  say,  according  to  their  idiom, 
"  Minna  eh  ba'lheh." 
"  I  see  his  coming." 
Ba  being  a  noun,  with  the  definite  article  Iheh  affixed.    The  Fantees 
would  say, 

"  Mehoon  deh  orraba." 
"  I  see  that  he  comes." 
Many  verbs  in  the  Accra  language  are  conjugated  like  reflec- 
tives,  though  they  are  not  so  in  their  nature,  as 
"  Me  nakoo  me  fai  Iheh 

I        not     I   did    it,  for  I  did  not  do  it. 
In  the  Accra,  ko,  the  contraction  of  nakoo,  (not,)  is  added  to 
verbs  as  a  negative,  as  "  meyayko,"  I  did  not  eat ;   yet,  in  some 
instances,  they  have  distinct  verbs  to  express  the  negative  of  the 
action,  as  "  mahttay,"  I  will  go,  "  meyang,"  I  will  not  go. 

The  Fantee  prefixes  ne'en,  not,  as  "  me  dedee,"  I  eat,  "  me  ne'en 
dedee,"  I  do  not  eat;  and  they  have  also,  apparently,  distinct 
negative  verbs,  as  "  ?/je  becko,"  I  go,  "  me'nkoko"  I  do  not  go. 

The  Accra  resembles  the  Greek  in  the  nice  distinctions  of  some 
of  its  verbs  and  nouns. 

Gnaghmong     -         -     To  salute  in  the  morning. 
Cotaghmong         -         To  roll  up. 


LANGUAGE.  357 

Balbaghtoomong        -         -         To  draw  towards 

Tehtemong        -  -         -         To  gather  up 

Kakow         -  -  -         The  tooth  ache  ('wa/M/ong' a  tooth ) 

Kodjomong        _         -         »         To  talk  a  palaver 

Song         -         _         _          _         To  work  as  asmith"!  neechoomong 

Ghnamong         _         -         -  -  mechanic  J  to  Avork 

Ninnamong       -         _          _         To  separate  weeds  from  earth 

The  Accra  and  Fantee  interjections  are  generally  parts  of  sen- 
tences, as,  Mr.  Home  Tooke  has  shewn  most  of  our  own  to  be : 
"  minnaiDiako,"  what  do  I  see  now,  "  me  a  whool"  I  die,  "  mMja!" 
oh  my  father,  equally  responsive  to  grief,  joy,  or  surprise ;  and 
used  as  involuntarily,  and  as  frequently  as  the  two  syllables  boh, 
hah,  which  answer  to  our  oh,  and  ah,  and  which,  of  course, 
cannot  be  called  words.  An  Ashantee  striking  his  foot  asainst 
a  stone,  or  any  thing  in  his  way,  exclaims  "  the  thing  is  mad." 

I  was  surprised  to  find  little,  or  no  inversion  in  the  Accra  or 
Fantee  prose*;  the  substantive  precedes  the  adjective,  but  there 
is  scarcely  any  other  trace  of  it:  yet,  it  is  one  of  their  poetical 
licenses,  as  may  be  instanced  in  the  following  line  of  a  Fantee 
song; 

"  Abirrikirri  croom  ogah  odum." 
Foreign  town  fire  put  in, 
for  "  the  foreign  town  is  set  on  fire."    In  addition  to  this  inversion, 
so  many  peculiar  additives,  (generally  vowels,)  and  inflexions  are 
allowed,  as  well  as  the  figures  Synseresis,  Diuresis,  Metathesis, 

*  "  He  (the  savage)  would  not  express  himself  according  to  our  Englisli  order  of  con- 
struction, Give  me  fruit,  but  according  to  the  Latin  order.  Fruit  give  me,  Fructum  da 
mihi,  for  this  plain  reason,  that  his  attention  was  wholly  directed  towards  fruit,  the 
desired  object.  This  was  the  exciting  idea;  the  object  which  moved  him  to  speak,  and 
of  course  would  be  the  first  named.  Such  an  an-angement  is  precisely  putting  into 
words  the  gesture  which  nature  taught  the  savage  to  make,  before  he  was  acquainted 


858  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

and  Anastrophe,  in  their  poetry,  and  in  their  poetry  only,  (making 
it  unintelligible  even  to  those  who  can  converse  fluently  with  them) 
that  both  languages  may  be  said  to  have  a  Prosody.  From  the 
following  song,  I  imagined  the  Fantees  (for  the  Accra's  are  said 
to  possess  none  but  fetish  hymns  in  their  own  language)  to  have 
some  idea  of  rhyme,  considering  the  inversion  of  the  first  line  as 
forced,  and  expressly  accommodated  to  the  metre, 

Abirrikirri  croom  ogah  odum, 

Ocoontinkii  bonoo  fum, 
Cooroompun, 
Cooui  agwun, 
but  I  have  not  met  with  any  other  instance. 

The  Ashantees  generally  use  much  and  vehement  gesture,  and 
speak  in  recitative:  their  action  is  exuberant,  but  graceful ;  and 
from  the  infancy  of  the  language,*  nouns  and  verbs  are  constantly 

with  words;  and  therefore  it  may  be  depended  upon  as  oertmn,  that  he  would  fall  most 
readily  into  this  arrangement.  -  -  -  -  - 

We  might  therefore  conclude,  a  priori,  that  this  would  be  the  order  in  which  things 
were  most  commonly  arranged  at  the  beginning  of  language,  and  accordingly  we  find, 
in  fact,  that  in  this  order  words  are  arranged  in  most  of  the  antient  tongues  ;  as  in  the 
Greek  and  the  Latin ;  and  it  is  also  said,  in  the  Russian,  the  Sclavonic,  the  Gaelic, 
and  several  of  the  American  tongues."     Blair. 

The  arrano-ement  of  words  in  the  Chayma  is  such  as  is  found  in  every  language  of 
both  continents,  which  has  preserved  a  certain  air  of  youth.  The  object  is  placed  before 
the  verb  the  verb  before  the  personal  pronoun.  The  object  on  which  the  attention 
should  be  principally  fixed,  precedes  all  the  modifications  of  that  object 

The  American  would  say;  "  liberty  complete  love  we;"  instead  of  we  love  complete 
liberty ;  "  Thee  with  happy  am  I" — instead  of  1  am  happy  with  thee.  Humboldt's  Per- 
sonal Narrative,  vol.  3,  p.  261. 

*  "  In  the  infancy  of  language,  while  words  were  yet  scanty,  the  most  natural  way, 
whereby  a  writer  or  speaker  might  give  an  additional  force  to  his  discourse,  was  to  repeat 
such  terras  as  he  wished  to  render  emphatic.  The  more  ancient  any  language  is,  the 
more  numerous  appear  the  traces  of  such  repetitions ;  and  next  to  the  Hebrew,  they 


LANGUAGE.  3-59 

repeated,  for  force,  and  distinction,  as  one  one,  for,  one  by  one, 
or,  each ;  one  tokoo  one  tokoo,  for,  one  tokoo  a-piece.  They 
frequently  are  obliged  to  vary  the  tone,  in  pronouncing  a  word 
which  has  more  than  one  meaning,  as  the  Chinese  do.  They 
have  no  expression  short  of  you  are  a  liar,  and  the  king  was  sur- 
prised, when  I  told  him  we  made  a  great  difference  between  a 
mistake  and  a  lie ;  he  said  the  truth  was  not  spoken  in  either  case, 
and,  therefore,  it  was  the  same  thing ;  they  did  not  consider  the 
motive  but  only  the  fact. 

Like  the  American  languages,  those  of  this  part  of  Africa,  are 
full  of  figures,  hyperbolical  and  picturesque.*  One  of  the  kings 
of  the  interior,  whose  territories  the  Ashantees  had  long  talked  of 
invading,  sent  forty  pots  of  palm  oil  to  Coomassie,  with  the  mes- 
sage, that,  "  he  feared  they  could  not  find  their  way,  so  he  sent 
the  oil  to  light  them."  'J'he  Accras  instead  of  good  night,  say 
"  woo'dii  d'tchcrrimong,"  sleep  till  the  lighting  of  the  world  :  one  of 
their  imprecations  against  their  enemies,  is,  "  may  their  hiding  place 
be  our  flute,"  that  is,  "  our  plaything:"  when  they  speak  of  a  man 
imposing  on  them,  they  say,  "  he  turned  the  backs  of  our  heads 
into  our  mouths."  Having  occasion,  whilst  at  Coomassie,  to  pro- 
test against  the  conduct  of  an  individual,  the  king  replied,  through 
Adoosee,  "  The  horse  comes  from  the  bush,  and  is  a  fool,  but 
the  man  who  rides  him  knows  sense,  and  by  and  by  makes  him 
do  what  he  wishes;  you,  by  yourself,  made  the  horse,  who  was  a 

form  a  remarkable  feature  in  the  Greek  tongue.  This  juaw  j^uoi,  I  desire  desire,  blended 
into  one  word,  become  /xi/iaai,  and  mean,  I  greatly  desire.  /Saw  ^acu,  I  walk  walk,  |3(- 
(6«a),  I  stride,  &c.  &c.  &c.     See  Jones. 

*  "  i  he  messenger  concluded  this  insulting  notification  by  presenting  the  king  with  a 
pair  of  iron  sandals,  at  the  same  time  adding,  that  until  such  time  as  Daisy  had  worn 
out  these  sandals  in  his  flight,  he  should  never  be  secure  from  the  arrows  of  Bambarra." 
Park's  1st  Mission. 


360  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

fool,  do  better  the  other  day,  therefore,  three  of  you  ought  to 
teach  a  man,  who  is  not  born  a  fool,  and  does  not  come  from  the 
bush,  to  do  what  you  know  to  be  right  by  and  by,  though  I  see 
he  does  wrong  now."  Other  instances  will  appear  in  their  songs. 
I  shall  transfer  the  imperfect  Vocabularies  which  I  formed,  and 
the  incidental  observations,  to  the  Appendix  ;  as  they  may  not  be 
indulged  with  so  much  attention  by  the  generality  of  readers,  as 
the  investigation  of  the  structure. 


MUSIC.  361 


CHAPTER  X. 


Music. 

1  HE  wild  music  of  these  people  is  scarcely  to  be  brought  within 
the  regular  rules  of  harmony,*  yet  their  airs  have  a  sweetness  and 
animation  beyond  any  barbarous  compositions  I  ever  heard.  Few 
of  their  instruments  possess  much  power,  but  the  combination  of 
several  frequently  produces  a  surprising  effect.  The  flute  is  made 
of  a  long  hollow  reed,  and  has  not  more  than  three  holes;  the  tone 
is  low  at  all  times,  and  when  they  play  in  concert  they  graduate 
them  with  such  nicety  as  to  produce  the  common  chords.  Several 
instances  of  thirds  occur,  especially  in  one  of  the  annexed  airs, 
played  as  a  funeral  dirge ;  nor  is  this  extraordinary  considering  it 
is  the  most  natural  interval ;  the  addition  of  fifths,  at  the  same 
time,  is  rare.  The  natives  declare  they  can  converse  by  means  of 
their  flutes,  and  an  old  resident  at  Accra  has  assured  me  he  has 
heard  these  dialogues,  and  that  every  sentence  was  explained  to  him. 
On  the  Sanko  (see  Drawing  No.  5,  and  Specimen  in  the  Mu- 
seum) they  display  the  variety  of  their  musical  talents,  and  the 
Ashantees  are  allowed  to  surpass  all  others.  It  consists  of  a 
narrow  box,  the  open  top  of  which  is  covered  with  aUigator, 
or    antelope  skin ;   a  bridge  is  raised  on   this,  over  which  eight 

*  "  A  few  melodies  in  national  music  have  been  found  incapable  of  harmony  ;  such  as 
the  two  first  bars  of  the  second  part  of  the  Irish  tune  called  The  Fair  Hair'd  Cliild." 
Dr.  Crotch. 

A  a 


362  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

strings  are  conducted  to  the  end  of  a  long  stick,  fastened  to 
the  fore  part  of  the  box,  and  thickl}^  notched,  and  they  raise  or 
depress  the  strings  into  these  notches  as  occasion  requires.  The 
upper  string  assimilates  with  the  tenor  C  of  the  piano,  and  the 
lower  with  the  octave  above:  sometimes  they  are  tuned  in  Diatonic 
succession,  but  too  frequently  the  intermediate  strings  are  drawn 
up  at  random,  producing  flats  and  sharps  in  every  Chromatic 
variety,  though  they  are  not  skilful  enough  to  take  advantage  of 
it.  I  frequently  urged  this  by  trying  to  convince  them  they  were 
not  playing  the  same  tune  I  had  heard  the  day  before,  but  the 
answer  was  invariably,  "  I  pull  the  same  string,  it  must  be  the 
same  tune."  The  strings  are  made  from  the  runners  of  a  tree 
called  Enta,  abounding  in  the  forests.  All  airs  on  this  instrument 
are  played  very  quick,  and  it  is  barely  possible  to  make  even  an 
experienced  player  lessen  the  time,  which  quick  as  it  is,  is  kept  in 
a  surprising  manner,  especially  as  every  tune  is  loaded  with  orna- 
ment. They  have  a  method  of  stopping  the  strings  with  the  finger, 
so  as  to  produce  a  very  soft  and  pleasing  effect,  like  the  Meyer 
touch  of  the  harp. 

The  horns  form  their  loudest  sounds,  and  are  made  of  elephant's 
tusks,  they  are  generally  ver}'^  large,  and,  being  graduated  like  the 
flutes,  their  flourishes  have  a  martial  and  grand  effect.  It  has 
been  mentioned  in  the  Military  Customs  of  the  Ashantees,  that 
peculiar  sentences  are  immediately  recognised  by  the  soldiers, 
and  people,  in  the  distinct  flourishes  of  the  horns  of  the  various 
chiefs :  the  words  of  some  of  these  sentences  are  almost  expressible 
by  the  notes  of  the  horns ;  the  following,  uttered  by  the  horns  of  a 
captain  named  Gettoa,  occurs  to  me  as  an  instance 
"  O  Sai  tintintoo,  ma  yfiayui  pa  pa." 
O  Sai  great  king !  I  laud  thee  every  where,  or  exceedingly. 

The  Bentwa  (see  Drawing  No.  6.)  is  a  stick  bent  in  the  form  of 


MUSIC.  363 

a  bow,  and  across  it,  is  fastened  a  very  thin  piece  of  split  cane, 
which  is  held  between  the  lips  at  one  end,  and  struck  with  a  small 
stick ;  whilst  at  the  other  it  is  occasionally  stopped,  or  rather 
buffed,  by  a  thick  one ;  on  this  they  play  only  Hvely  airs,  and  it 
owes  its  various  sounds  to  the  lips. 

The  Mosees,  Mallowas,  Bournous,  and  natives  from  the  more 
remote  parts  of  the  interior,  play  on  a  rude  violin  :  the  body  is  a 
calabash,  the  top  is  covered  with  deer  skin,  and  two  large  holes 
are  cut  in  it  for  the  sound  to  escape  ;  the  strings,  or  rather  string, 
is  composed  of  cow's  hair,  and  broad  like  that  of  the  bow  with 
which  they  play,  which  resembles  the  bow  of  a  violin.  Their 
grimace  equals  that  of  an  Italian  Buffo :  they  generally  accompany 
themselves  with  the  voice,  and  increase  the  humour  by  a  strong 
nasal  sound. 

The  Oompoochwa  is  a  box,  one  end  of  which  is  left  open ;  two 
flat  bridges  are  fastened  across  the  top,  and  five  pieces  of  thin 
curved  stick,  scraped  very  smooth,  are  attached  to  them,  and 
(their  ends  being  raised,)  are  struck  with  some  force  by  the  thumb. 
I  can  compare  it  to  nothing  but  the  Staccado  nearly  deprived  of 
its  tone. 

The  Ashantees  have  an  instrument  like  a  Bagpipe,  but  the 
drone  is  scarcely  to  be  heard. 

The  rest  of  the  instruments  can  hardly  be  called  musical,  and 
consist  of  drums,  castanets,  gong-gongs,  flat  sticks,  rattles,  and 
even  old  brass  pans. 

The  Drums  (see  Drawing  No.  7.)  are  hollow'd  trunks  of  trees, 
frequently  carved  with  much  nicety,  mostly  open  at  one  end,  and 
of  many  sizes  :  those  with  heads  of  common  skin  (that  is  of  any 
other  than  Leopard  skin)  are  beaten  with  sticks  in  the  form  of  a 
crotchet  rest ;  the  largest  are  borne  on  the  head  of  a  man,  and 
struck  by  one  or  more  followers ;  the  smaller  are  slung  round  the 


•364  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

neck,  or  stand  on  the  ground ;  in  the  latter  case  they  are  mostly 
played  with  the  inside  of  the  fingers,  at  which  the  natives  are  very 
expert :  amongst  these  drums  are  some  with  heads  of  leopard  skin, 
(looking  like  vellum,)  only  sounded  by  two  fingers,  which  are 
scraped  along,  as  the  middle  finger  is  on  the  tamborine,  but  pro- 
d  cing  a  much  louder  noise.  The  gong-gongs  are  made  of  hollow 
pieces  of  iron,  and  struck  with  the  same  metal.  The  Castanets  are 
also  of  iron.  The  Rattles  are  hollow  gourds,  the  stalks  being  left  as 
handles,  and  contain  shells  or  pebbles,  and  are  frequently  covered 
with  a  net  work  of  beads;  the  grimaces  with  which  these  are 
played  make  them  much  more  entertaining  to  sight  than  hearing. 

I  was  fortunate  enough  to  find  a  rare  instance  of  a  native  able 
to  play  the  radical  notes  of  each  tune ;  he  is  the  best  player  in  the 
country,  and  I  was  enabled  to  collect  the  airs  now  offered :  with 
some  of  the  oldest  date  I  have  also  selected  a  few  of  the  latest 
compositions.  Their  graces  are  so  numerous,  some  extempore, 
some  transmitted  from  father  to  son,  that  the  constant  repetition 
only  can  distinguish  the  commencement  of  the  air:  sometimes 
between  each  beginning  they  introduce  a  few  chords,  sometimes 
they  leave  out  a  bar,  sometimes  they  only  return  to  the  middle,  so 
entirely  is  it  left  to  the  fancy  of  the  performer.  The  observation 
made  on  the  time  of  the  Sanko  may  be  extended  to  almost  every 
other  instrument,  but  it  is  always  perfect,  and  the  children  avIU 
move  their  heads  and  limbs,  whilst  on  their  mother's  backs,  in 
exact  unison  with  the  tune  which  is  playing:  the  contrasts  of  piano 
and  forte  are  very  well  managed. 

The  singing  is  aUnost  all  recitative,  and  this  is  the  only  part  of 
music  in  which  the  women  partake ;  they  join  in  the  chorusses, 
and  at  the  funeral  of  a  female  sing  the  dirge  itself;  but  the  frenzy 
of  the  moment  renders  it  such  a  mixture  of  yells  and  screeches, 
that  it  bids  defiance  to  all  notation.     The  songs  of  the  Canoe  men 


N?  1. 


The  oldest  Asii  antfk  and  Warsaw  Air. 

piano. 


—:9-- 

r^ 

g^ 

b 

F^ 

1 — 

e- 

— 

r-fi 

-?^" 

I— 

S 

fortt' 

^ 

^ 

^^^^ 

&= 

±i 

^ 

1 

^ 

=^ 

^ 

J^Ji* 

5 

[JAm 

«irt« 

M13E 

^^ 

p=F 

^" 

_ 

=^=^ 

=i^^ 

J— — 

— 

=t 

-^ 

=fl=^ 

^ 

F'^^=r 

-i 

^ 

h^ 

w 

y 

-*H 

bt 

:^ 

:^:ii 

•  i 

=i= 

=1 

tl 

fj-^ 

:^ii 

L 

T^^    i 

'? 

fci 

-4 

^=^ 

N?  2. 


A  very  ok!  Asmamtee   Aik. 


Aganka     oshoom  noofa       Oboibee  oshoom  iioofa     Asanka  oshoom  iif)ofa 
Orphan      crit-s    at  night    _    _      _       cries     at  niKl'S    Orphan  crio  at  night 


j?  m  J  r^  \n  rj-r  i  J^  ^J^  lh^ 


wi'kirrie    wikirrte      oimiyow    v-tkime  wekirree        wekirrre      oimiyov 

sad  thing    sad  thing       Im  sorry  sad  thing  sad  thing      sad   tiling      Im  sorry 


^iiiii 


iiiiiiti 


When  thi'  air  is  repeated  thfse  chords  are    used  as  a 
prelude    and  the  HJnote  of  the  1^'bar  doubled. 


N?  3. 

Alleg-ro 

N?  4. 


Warsaw    Air, 


N?  6. 

Allegro 


jhijiiuJ^t) 


rni^  ^ii\i  u\[  ^\^  ^\jn^\j^^3 


^ff^ 


ijr^jjjij^ij^^nf^^T^^ 


N?  7. 


Oiioompjh       yali|jj)i  oiiompah         j'ahpah  onoompah      yahpah 

(M..kts)        Pir son  do    bud    _________ 


si<    _  ta  sic  _    _  ca  onoompah 

UOl<!  ^old  (makes)          per  -    _  soi 


yahpah 
do     bad 


o    _   nooinpali         yalrpab 


"W 9- 

oiiooni]>ah       yahpah 


-• ^ • « * 

A   _  kim  sicca  o_  noompah      jahpih. 

A  _   kim  i;<)1d      (rn.!ki-si      ptTson        do    bad 

Mor)f;R>    Fam  EE  AiK, 


d  jrm  n^^  ,^  !\  ^^  .71  ^7^  1  ^  J7l  ^73,? 


N?  9. 
Presto        (^  C 


MoDERis   Fantee  Air, 


di'ir^-n  j  i^j^p^^  rjTT^  tH  j  rjxP-#^ 


^-.       "^-i       .^o       ^y-> 


OT7:i.;TTJ|.TO^TT3i;rnj|j;7^.j^^ 


N?ll. 


Oil 

1 — p^ 

AsllANTEE 

— 1  Ej  1  n 

Al 

R. 

Ff^-n 

Sa. 

ko 

4rs 

-^- 

^ 

[#^ 

k^>J 

ti 

5 

^ 

-P 



«^ 

^ 

=NI= 

%J    ^ 

m  m 

•  4 

A   Fantke    Dirge. 


Andante 


Andante 


An  Accra    fetish    Hymn. 

.-^^ -rrj 

m  ti     r 

gnorw'oorra  ;ifi    _    na;i'  _  pwaif 


Afi     .  ■■ 


all'  -    _  pwaee 


^3 


m 


fjnorvkoorra 


(-fU-U^^ 


n  ^  i.rn  _r5 


j^norwoorra     afii_    _    naie-   -  pw 


gnorwoorra    morhei-    fjnorwoorra 


({iioivioorra  jjnorwoorra  morbif   j^iiorwoorra 


N?  IS. 
Andante 


A    K£RRAPEK    So>G, 


Kenmo  _  vjy    iioobloii     jdomcxai  K{iin»o\  ay  noobloii  atlomcvai 


^^P^^P^^ 


^^^ 


~* •     ^      -jf.     • *■ 

dorrnvai       eniioljloii    Bootoh  me    po    mi'     bloh         a_dai\_vo  ~     I 

FaMEE     AiK.  —  OompoochHa 


iioodooloo 


N?16. 


/■^  n~n  n  ^\rp^ 


4^  ^1?^  ^  I  LCj  ^  "^^ 


N?  17. 
Vivace 


Famtee   Air 


^ 


^'^-^&i:m 


^ 


^ 


U-n  'j^^mj-^\u^ 


NP  18. 

V  ivace 


AsjfANTEE    AjR. 


§1 J  ■  rr, ;  nj  j  ■  .^  ;.r:j  i  j  ■  jtj  ,71 1 


^ 


^ i ^ 


a=it 


^ 


J  J  J   W 


^ 


Mai  I.OWA    Air. 


Ara;„'.t;„  jj'j  Jif  rl'^lfif  ri-^lpil 


^ 


MosEE     Air. 


Violin 


Anai:"„o  j;;{  .rr]  m  n  i  r-  ^  ^"J  j-j  r 


MUSIC.  365 

are  peculiar  to  themselves,  and  very  much  resemble  the  chants  used 
in  cathedrals,  but  as  they  are  all  made  for  the  moment,  I  have  not 
been  able  to  retain  any  of  them. 

To  have  attempted  any  thing  like  arrangement,  beyond  what  the 
annexed  airs  naturally  possess,  would  have  altered  them,  and  de- 
stroyed the  intention  of  making  them  known  in  their  original 
character.     I  have  not  even  dared  to  insert  a  flat  or  a  sharp. 

No.  1.  is  the  oldest  air  in  the  whole  collection,  and  common 
both  to  Ashantees  and  Warsaws;  I  could  trace  it  through  four 
generations,  but  the  answer  made  to  my  enquiries  will  give  the 
best  idea  of  its  antiquity ;  "  it  was  made  when  the  country  was 
made."    The  key  appears  to  be  E  minor. 

The  old  and  simple  air  No.  2,  is  almost  spoiled  from  the  quick 
method  of  playing  it,  but  when  slow  it  has  a  melancholy  rarely 
found  in  African  music,  and  it  is  one  of  the  very  few  in  which  the 
Avords  are  adapted  to  the  tune.  I  think  it  is  decidedly  in  the  key 
of  C  major.  The  noun  aganka,  an  orphan,  is  from  the  verb  agan 
to  leave.  Oboibee  is  a  bird  that  sings  only  at  night,  for  which  I 
know  no  other  name  than  the  Ashantee.  The  Warsaw  air,  No.  3, 
also  in  C  major,  was  composed  in  consequence  of  a  contest  between 
the  two  principal  caboceers  of  that  country,  Intiffa  and  Attobra  ; 
one  extremely  thin  and  the  other  very  fat ;  Allobra  ran  away,  and 
is  derided  by  Jntiffa  in  the  following  satirical  words  : 
Asoom  coocooroocoo  oniiiny  agwanny. 
Asoom  is  a  dolphin,  which,  as  a  beardless  creature,  is  an  epithet  of 
the  strongest  contempt.    The  literal  translation  is, 

'i'he  big  dolphin  runs  away  from  the  small  man. 

No.  5,  which  I  should  conjeeture  to  begin  in  E  minor,  and  to 
end  in  D  minor,  was  occasioned  by  an  English  vessel  bringing 
the  report  of  a  battle,  in  which  the  French  were  defeated  and  their 
town  burned.    The  words  are  allegorical. 


366  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Abirrikirri  croom  ogah  odum  ; 

French        town    fire     put  in ; 

Ocoontinkii  bonoo  funm ; 
Great  fighting  man,  wolf    take  you  away ; 

Cooroompun  coom  agwun. 

Cooroompun  kills  all  goats. 
Abirrikirri  applies  indiscriminately  to  all  nations  beyond  the  sea, 
as  Dunko  does  to  all  nations  far  in  the  interior.  Cooroompun  is 
a  very  large  insect  of  the  genus  mantis  (soothsayer)  frequently  met 
with  here,  and  the  natives  believe  that  it  kills  the  sheep  and  goats 
by  fjiscination,  standing  with  its  eyes  fixed  on  those  of  the  object, 
and  swinging  its  head  and  body  from  side  to  side  without  moving 
its  feet,  until  the  animal  falls  in  fits  and  dies.*  Agwun  is  a  noun 
of  multitude,  comprehending  all  the  goat  kind. 

A  long  tale  accompanies  No.  6.  An  Ashantee  having  been 
surprised  in  an  intrigue  with  another  man's  wife,  becomes  the  slave 
of  the  King,  and  is  obliged  to  follow  the  army  in  a  campaign 
against  the  celebrated  Attah,  the  Akim  caboceer  mentioned  in  the 
history.  The  Ashantee  army  having  retired,  this  man  either 
deserted  or  could  not  join  his  division,  and  after  concealing  him- 
self some  time  in  the  forest,  was  taken  by  a  party  of  Attah's,  whom 
he  addresses  in  the  following  words : 

Eqqwee  odin  ahi, 

Panther  bush  here  (belongs  to) 

*  The  power  of  fascination  by  the  eyes,  is  believed  and  dreaded  in  those  parts  of 
Africa  as  mortal,  whether  exercised  by  the  fetish  priests  against  men,  or  by  tlie  cooroom- 
pun against  animals.  The  idea  prevailed  in  Pliny's  time,  but  it  was  ascribed  to  the  voice. 
"  In  libro  quodam  Pliiiii  naturalis  historise  legi  esse  quasdam  in  terra  Africa  famihas 
horainum  vote  atque  lingua  effascinantium.  Qui  si  impensiiis  forte  laudaverint  pulchras 
arbores,  segetes  laetiores,  infantes  amoeniores,  egregios  equos,  pecudes  pastu,  atque  cultu 
optimas,  emoriantur  repente  haec  omnia."  A  cooroompun  will  be  found  amongst  the 
specimens  for  the  British  Museum. 


MUSIC.  367 

Minawoo !  Minawoo ! 
I  die  !  I  die ! 

Me'din  adoo  croora, 
Bush  now  my  croom, 
Minawoo  !  Minawoo ! 
I  die!  I  die! 

Babisseache  Minawoo  !  Minawoo  ! 
For  woman's  sake  I  die  !         I  die  ! 

Attah  m'incomie  !     Attah  m'incomie  ! 
Attah  don't  kill  me!  Attah  don't  kill  me! 
The  man's  life,  it  was  added,  was  preserved  when  he  urged  that 
he  understood  how  to  make  sandals.    The  key  appears  to  be  E 
minor. 

No.  7,  in  G  major,  seems  to  convey  the  moral,  that  riches  prompt 
mankind  to  wickedness,  the  word  "  makes"  is  understood. 

No.  9,  became  a  common  song  in  March  last  in  praise  of  the 
present  Governor  in  Chief;  who,  in  consequence  of  the  famine 
occasioned  by  the  preceding  invasion  from  the  Ashantees,  daily 
distributed  corn  to  the  starving  multitude:  the  words  are  even 
more  incoherent  and  figurative  than  the  others,  therefore  I  have 
not  written  them,  but  the  meaning  to  be  gathered  is,  "  Poor  woman 
and  poor  child  got  no  gold  to  buy  kanky  ;  good  white  man  gives 
you  corn."  It  will  be  observed  that  the  air  much  resembles  No.  11, 
wherefore  I  suspect  it  is  an  alteration,  and  not  a  composition; 
although  the  key  seems  to  be  G  major,  and  it  is  impossible  to 
attach  any  key  to  the  latter. 

The  dirge,  No.  12,  certainly  in  the  key  of  C  major,  has  been 
mentioned  before,  but  here  I  must  add,  that  in  venturing  the 
intervening  and  concluding  bass  chord,  I  merely  attempt  to  de- 
scribe the  castanets,  gong-gongs,  drums,  &c.  bursting  in  after  the 
soft  and  mellow  tones  of  the  flutes ;  as  if  the  ear  was  not  to  retain 
a  vibration  of  the' sweeter  melody. 


368  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

No.  13,  in  D  minor,  is  played  by  only  two  flutes,  and  is  one  of 
the  softest  airs  I  have  met  with. 

No.  14,  is  an  Accra  fetish  hymn,  sung  by  one  man  and  one 
woman,  or  more,  at  Christmas : 

Afinaie  pwee. 
The  year's  ends  have  met, 
Gnor  woorra 
Somebody's  child 
M5rbee. 
Take  blessing. 
"  Somebody's  child,"  means  the  child  of  a  person  of  consequence, 
reminding  us  of  Hidalgos,  "  the  son  of  somebody,"  so  applied  in 
Spanish.     Its  regularity  is  surprising,  and  its  transition  from  G 
major  to  C  major  is  very  harmonious. 

No.  15,  in  G  major,  is  a  specimen  of  the  Kerrapee  or  Kerrapay 
music,  which  I  have  made  a  point  of  preserving,  as  it  appeared  to 
me  superior  even  to  Ashantee.  A  young  man  acknowledges  a 
crime  he  had  attempted  to  conceal : 

Kenneovay  nooblou  adomevai, 
Oh  pity!     the  palaver  is  spoiled, 
Noodooloo    adomevai. 
It  is  found,  it  is  spoiled; 
Ennoblou ; 
Think  for  me ; 
Dootoh  me  p6  me  bloh. 
Elders,   settle  it  for  me, 
Adan  vo, 
I  am  at  a  loss, 
lee! 
Oh! 
The  following  is  a  translation  of  a  long  Ashantee  song,  with  little 


MUSIC.  369 

or  no  air.    The  men  sit  together  in  a  line  on  one  side,  with  their 
sankos  and  other  instruments ;  and  the  women  in  a  hne  opposite 
to  them.     Individuals  rise  and  advance,  singing  in  turn.* 
1st  Woman.  My  husband  likes  me  too  much, 
He  is  good  to  me, 
But  I  cannot  hke  him, 
So  I  must  listen  to  my  lover. 
1st  Man.       My  wife  does  not  please  me, 
I  tire  of  her  now ; 

So  I  will  please  myself  with  another. 
Who  is  very  handsome. 
2nd  Woman.  My  lover  tempts  me  with  sweet  words, 
But  my  husband  always  does  me  good. 
So  I  must  like  him  well, 
And  I  must  be  true  to  him. 
2nd  Man.  Girl  you  pass  my  wife  handsome. 
But  I  cannot  call  you  wife  ; 
A  wife  pleases  her  husband  only. 
But  when  I  leave  you,  you  go  to  others. 

*  I  never  heard  this  sung  without  its  recalling  Horace's  beautiful  little  dialogue  ode, 
(9.  lib.  3)  "  Donee  gratus  eram  tibi." 


3  B 


370  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 


CHAPTER   XL 


Materia  Medica  and  Diseases. 

In  i:  report  of  the  Materia  Medica  and  Botany  of  Ashantee,  was 
the  only  one  which  I  was  not  required  to  furnish.  It  was  afforded 
by  Mr.  Henry  Tedhe,  assistant  surgeon,  whose  subsequent  death 
has  mingled  a  regret  Avith  the  recollection  of  the  Embassy,  Avhich 
the  recall  of  my  own  sufferings,  and  the  family  affliction  it  entailed 
on  me,  could  never  have  exacted.  The  inteUigence  reached  me  in 
England,  to  correct  the  pride  of  success  by  associating  misfortune 
■with  it ;  for  the  recollection  of  Mr.  Tedlie's  social  virtues,  of  his 
enterprise  and  ability,  makes  it  a  severe  one  to  myself,  and  to  the 
world.  Mr.  Tedlie  suffered  severely  from  intermitting  dysentery 
during  the  Mission,  but  I  had  hoped  it  would  have  been  eradicated 
after  his  return.  He  had  previously  attended  the  expedition  to 
Candy,  and  expired  at  Cape  Coast  Castle  in  the  27th  year  of  his 
age.  Throughout  the  Mission  he  indulged  the  feehngs  of  the 
natives,  in  his  professional  capacity,  with  a  patience  few  could 
have  exerted ;  whether  labouring  under  sickness  himself,  or  dis- 
turbed in  the  moments  of  a  scanty  rest ;  he  awed  and  conciliated 
the  people  by  the  importance  of  his  cures,  and  thus  contributed  to 
the  success  of  the  enterprise. 

"  During  the  earlier  part  of  our  residence  at  Coomassie,  the 
season  was  tolerably  favourable  to  the  gathering  of  plants,  but  we 
were  then  allowed  to  go  out  but  seldom,  and  never  beyond  the  town. 


MATERIA  MEDICA.  371 

Latterly,  when  better  impressions  succeeded,  and  our  walks  were 
unrestrained  by  limits  or  attendants,  the  rains  not  only  checked, 
but  generally  disappointed  my  researches,  by  presenting  the  subject 
flowerless,  (or  in  an  unfit  state  for  preservation,)  and  consequently 
not  admitting  their  classification,  as  is  too  evident  in  the  following 
list  of  such  plants  as  are  used  as  medicines  by  the  Ashantees. 

1.  Cutturasuh.  ['^Chrj/santhellum  procumbens.  Persoon.  syn.  %.  p. 
471,  Verhesina  mutica  Willd.)  A  small  plant,  a  decoction  of  which 
is  purgative,  before  boiling  it  should  be  bruised.  -^ 

2.  Adumba,  (a  species  of  Ficus.)  The  bark  and  fruit  are  pounded 
with  Mallaguetta  pepper  and  a  small  plant  called  awhintey  whinting, 
boiled  in  fish  soup  :  two  doses  in  the  third  month  of  gestation  are 
said  to  cause  abortion. 

3.  Koofoobah  {Gloriosa  superba.  Linn.)  is  bruised  with  Malla- 
guetta pepper  (lesser  cardamom  seeds)  and  applied  to  the  ancle  or 
foot  when  sprained. 

4.  Tandoorue  (^perhaps  a  Cupania  or  Trichilia.)  The  bark  is 
pounded  and  boiled  with  Mallaguetta  pepper  ;  used  for  pain  in  the 
belly,  and  acts  as  a  purgative. 

5.  Bissey.  (Sterculia  acuminata.  Palis,  de  Beauvois,  Flore  d'Oware 
l.p.  41.  tab.  24.)  The  fruit  is  constantly  chewed  by  the  Ashantees, 
especially  on  a  journey ;  it  is  said  to  prevent  hunger  and  strengthen 
the  stomach  and  bowels ;  has  a  slight  bitter  aromatic  astringent 
taste,  and  causes  an  increase  of  the  saliva  while  chewed. 

6.  Attueh.  (Blighia  sapida.  Hort.  Kew.  ed.  2.  vol.  3, p.  350.  Akeesia 
africana  Tussac  Flor.  des  Antilles  66". )  A  decoction  of  the  bark  is 
said  to  be  anti-venereal.   The  fruit  is  eaten. 

7.  Ricinus  Communis  Linn.  Castor  oil  nut  tree,  30  feet  high 
here,  and  not  a  bush  as  on  the  coast :  not  used  as  medicine  by  the 
natives. 

*  I  am  indebted  to  Mr.  Brown's  knowledge  for  the  names  and  references  in  the 
parentheses. 


J 


372  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

8.  Apooder,  {Tzco  species  of  Leucas,  of  which  one  is  hardly  diffe- 
rent frojn  L.  Martinicemis  Hort.  Kew.  ed.  2.  vol.  3,  p.  409,  the  other 
is  perhaps  new.)  A  mixture  of  the  bruised  leaves  with  lime  juice 
is  applied  to  inflammations. 

9.  Hooghong.  (A  species  of  Urtica)  is  bruised,  mixed  with  chalk, 
and  drank  by  pregnant  women  to  correct  acidity  in  the  stomach, 
heartburn,  &c. 

10.  Accocottocotorawah,  [Heliotropium  indicum.  Linn.)  The  juice 
expressed  from  this  plant  is  snuffed  up  the  nostrils  in  cases  of  severe 
head-ach.    They  also  inhale  the  smoke  of  it  into  the  nose. 

11.  Crowera  {Acahjpha  ciliata.  JVi/ld.  sp.  pi.)  is  bruised  with  lesser 
cardamom  seed,  and  rubbed  on  the  chest  and  side  when  pained. 

12.  Enminim  (a  species  ofVitis.)  A  climbing  plant.  The  juice 
expressed  from  the  leaves  is  dropped  into  the  ej'es  when  affected 
with  opthalmia  or  pain. 

13.  Secoco.  {Leptanthus  ?)  A  small  marshy  plant.  Is  pounded 
with  lime  juice  and  rubbed  on  the  body  to  cure  the  crawcraws ;  a 
severe  and  obstinate  species  of  itch.  ..>■  ■      i;      ., 

14.  Ammo. — The  juice  is  applied  to  cuts  and  bruises.:  fi a  ,vlbci 

15.  Petey  {possibly  a  Piper.)  The  leaves  are  pounded,  and  applied 
as  a  plaister  to  inflammatory  swellings  and  boils. 

16.  Abromotome. — The  bruised  leaves  are  used  to  discuss  boils. 

17.  Yangkompro.  (A  syngenesious  plant  related  to  Cacalia.)  The 
pounded  leaves  are  applied  to  cuts  and  contusions. 

18.  Oeduema.  {Musanga  cecropioides  Br.  See  Tuckey's  Congo, 
p.  453.)  The  hairy  sheath  or  stipule  of  a  large  palmated  leaved 
tree;  it  resembles  a  skin,  is  boiled  in  soup,  and  used  as  a  powerful 
emmenagogue. 

19.  Semeney,  {probably  a  species  of  Aneilema.)  The  leaves  are 
pounded  and  applied  as  a  plaister  to  favour  the  discharge  of  boils 
and  collections  of  pus. 


MATERIA  MEDICA.  373 

20.  Wpwwah  (perhaps  a  Sterculia.)  The  inner  bark  of  this  tree 
is  scraped  fine  and  mixed  with  Mallaguetta  pepper,  and  drank  for 
colic  and  other  pains  in  the  belly. 

21.  Anafranakoo. — The  bruised  leaves  are  apphed  to  discuss 
boils  and  other  inflammatory  swelling. 

22.  Kattacai ben  (£eeo  sctmiwcma.)  A  decoction  of  the  leaves  is 
drank  every  morning  by  pregnant  women  when  they  experience 
any  uneasiness  in  the  abdomen.  The  bark  of  the  tree  powdered  is 
rubbed  on  chronic  swellings. 

23.  Aserumhdrue  {a  species  of  Pipej- related  to  umbellatum.)  The 
leaves  are  used  in  soup  to  allay  swellings  of  the  belly. 

24.  Ocisseeree. — The  bark  of  this  tree  is  used  to  stop  the  purg- 
ing in  dysentery  and  diarrhoea. 

25.  Gingang.  (Paidlinia  africana  Br.  See  Tuckey's  Congo,  p.  427-) 
The  bark  of  this  tree  is  used  internally  and  externally,  mixed  with 
Mallaguetta  pepper  for  pain  in  the  side. 

26.  Cudeyakoo. — A  very  small  plant.  The  leaves  and  stalk 
pounded  are  applied  to  eruptions  on  the  head.,  ,Ar  :ffii?^t.iLire  of  it 
with  lime  juice  is  applied  to  the  yaws.  oiu  so**';"^i')  •  ''  ' 

oi  27.  Affeuah  {unknown)  and  Nuinnuerafuh  (Hedysari  species.)  A 
mixture  of  the  bruised  leaves  of  these  plants  with  Mallaguetta 
pepper,  is  rubbed  on  the  body  and  limbs  when  swelled  or  pained  : 
a  decoction  of  them,  with  an  addition  of  the  plant  Comfany  (Alter- 
nanthercB,  sp.)  is  used  internally  in  the  same  cases. 

28.  Adummah.  (Paullinia  africana.  The  same  as  No.  25.)  A  de- 
coction of  the  bark  of  this  tree,  reduced  to  powder  with  Mallaguetta 
pepper,  drank  once  a  day,  stops  the  discharge  of  blood  and  cures 
the  dysentery. 

29.  Tointinney  (probably  a  Menispermum.)  Is  chevved  with 
Mallaguetta  pepper  as  a  cure  for  a  cough. 

30.  Apussey.     {A  leguminous  plant,  probably  allied  to  Kobinia. ) 


374  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

The  bark  of  this  tree  pounded  with  Mallaguetta  pepper  is  ap- 
plied to  tlie  head  in  cases  of  head-ach. 

31.  Thuquamah. — ^The  bark  is  pounded  and  drank  in  Palm 
wine,  with  Mallaguetta  pepper,  for  pain  in  the  belly, 

32.  Conkknoney,  a  dark  purple  coloured  Toadstool,  the  size  of  a 
hazel  nut,  rubbed  with  Mallaguetta  pepper  and  lime  juice,  it  purges 
briskly.  To  stop  the  purging,  a  mess  of  boiled  Guinea  corn  meal 
and  lime  juice  should  be  eaten. 

33.  Suetinney. — (Brillaiitaisia  owariensis.  Palis,  de  Beauvois  Flor. 
d'Oware,  2.  p.  68  tab.  100,  Jig.  2.)  A  decoction  of  the  leaves  is 
drank  for  pain  in  the  belly. 

34.  Soominna,  (Tetandria  Monogynia,)  is  bruised  with  lime  juice 
and  used  to  abate  cough. 

35.  Thattha  (Scoparia  dulcis.  Linn.) — The  expressed  juice  of 
this  plant  is  dropped  into  the  ears  when  pained. 

36.  Aquey  (Melia  Azedarach.  Linn.^  A  decoction  of  the  leaves 
of  this  tree  is  used  with  Palm  wine  as  a  corroborant. 

37.  Dammaram  {Mtisscenda fulgens.  nov.  spec.) 

The  diseases  most  common  in  the  Ashantee  Country  are  the 
Lues,  Yaws,  Itch,  Ulcers,  Scald-heads,  and  griping  pains  in  the 
bowels.  Other  diseases  are  occasionally  met  with,  I  should  sup- 
pose in  the  same  proportion  that  they  occur  in  civilized  countries ; 
but  I  do  not  know  to  what  cause  to  assign  the  prevalence  and  fre- 
quency of  one  of  the  most  unsightly  diseases  that  can  occur  in  any 
country :  it  is  an  obstinate  species  of  ulcer,  or.  Noli  me  tangere, 
which  destroys  the  nose  and  upper  lip ;  it  attacks  women  chiefly, 
although  men  are  not  exempt  from  it ;  there  are  more  than  100 
women  in  Coomassie  who  have  lost  the  nose  or  upper  lip  from 
this  cause  alone  :  it  commences  with  a  small  ulcer  in  the  alae  nasi, 
or  upper  lip,  the  size  of  a  spUt  pea,  excavated,  with  the  edges 


DISEASES.  375 

ragged  and  turned  inwards,  it  proceeds  by  ulcerating  under  the 
skin ;  the  bottom  of  the  ulcer  is  uneven,  covered  with  a  foul  slough, 
of  a  very  disagreeable  smell,  and  the  discharge  is  thin,  watery, 
and  very  irritating :  it  seldom  cicatrices  before  the  alae  nasi  and 
lip  are  completely  destroyed ;  when  it  does  cease,  the  skin  is 
puckered  and  uneven,  and  has  a  very  disagreeable  appearance; 
the  only  remedy  which  the  natives  use,  is  an  external  application 
of  bruised  leaves ;  they  seem  to  let  it  take  its  course,  without  being 
very  anxious  about  a  cure. 

Framboesia,  the  Yaws,  is  a  very  frequent  disease  with  the  chil- 
dren of  the  poor  and  slaves:  before  the  eruption  takes  place  they 
are  severely  afflicted  with  pains  in  the  joints,  and  along  the  course 
of  the  muscles  of  the  superior  and  interior  extremities;  in  young- 
persons,  hard,  round  bony  excrescences,  the  size  of  a  walnut, 
form  on  each  side  of  the  nose  under  the  eyes.  The  Natives  either 
are  not  acquainted  with  a  remedj'  for  this  enlargement  of  the 
bones,  or  if  they  are,  they  do  not  put  it  in  practice.  I  adminis- 
tered alterative  doses  of  calomel  and  antimonial  powder  with 
success,  as  it  stopped  the  enlargement  of  the  bones  and  caused 
them  to  be  absorbed,  and  relieved  the  pain  in  the  arms  and  legs 
particularly;  during  the  exhibition  of  the  alterative  pills,  afoul 
ulcer  on  the  head  got  well:  the  natives  apply  a  mixture  of  the 
plant  Cudey-akoo,  with  lime  juice,  to  the  eruption,  but  apparently 
with  very  little  benefit. 

Psora,  the  itch,  a  very  severe  species  of  which,  called  craw 
craw,  is  a  frequent  disease,  and  is  very  contagious;  it  is  most  com- 
monly met  with  in  children,  few  of  the  Dunko  slaves  are  without 
it,  from  their  pQor  diet  and  extreme  dirtiness;  they  do  not  seem  to 
experience  much  uneasiness  from  it,  as  they  seldom  apply  any 
remedy ;  sometimes  they  use  a  rubefaciant,  made  of  a  plant  called 
secoco,  bruised  and  mixed  with  lime  juice. 


376  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

Gonorrhoea  is  of  rare  occurrence,  two  cases  came  under  my 
care,  the  patients  had  never  used  injections,  they  drank  decoc- 
tions of  leaves  and  bark,  but  could  not  tell  me  the  plants  they 
used ;  one  of  the  ingredients,  was  a  small  plant  call  Cutturasuh,  of 
a  purgative  nature.  The  disease  is  allowed  to  take  its  course  by 
the  natives,  as  they  are  unacquainted  with  any  method  to  stop  it. 

Tinea  Capitis,  the  scald  head,  is  a  common  disease  with  the 
poorer  sort  of  Ashantees  and  slaves,  arising  from  their  neglect  of 
cleanliness ;  the  applications  which  they  use  to  cure  it  have  seldom 
the  desired  effect.  They  apply  plaisters  of  pounded  leaves  and 
charcoal,  but  do  not  wash  the  head.  In  one  case,  where  a  boy 
was  placed  under  my  care,  he  got  well  in  eight  days,  by  having 
his  head  very  well  washed  with  a  brush,  soap,  and  warm  water; 
then  a  strong  infusion  of  tobacco,  applied  with  a  sponge,  and 
when  the  head  was  dry,  a  composition  of  resinous  and  mercurial 
ointment  was  rubbed  on  it. 

Hydrocele  occasionally  occurs;  they  attempt  to  cure  it  by 
frictions  of  the  castor  oil  nut,  burnt  and  bruised  with  Mallaguetta 
pepper,  but  without  any  benefit.  I  drew  off  the  Avater  from  one 
hydrocele,  but,  from  our  want  of  stimulants,  could  not  perform 
any  radical  cure.  Their  applications  to  Inguinal  hernia  are 
equally  ineffectual.  They  never  attempt  the  reduction  of  umbi- 
lical hernia,  although  some  are  very  large,  and  the  disease  very 
frequent. 

When  a  fracture  of  the  leg  or  arm  happens,  the  part  is  rubbed 
with  a  soft  species  of  grass  and  palm  oil,  and  the  Hmb  bound  up 
with  splints.  "  If  God  does  not  take  the  patient  he  recovers  in 
four  months, '^  as  they  say. 

I  have  not  seen  a  single  instance  of  fracture  in  the  Ashantee 
country.  Gun-shot  wounds  of  the  extremities,  when  the  bone  is 
fractured,  are  generally  fatal,  or,  where  a  large  blood  vessel  is 


DISEASES.  377 

wounded,  as  they  are  unacquainted  with  any  method  of  stopping 
the  haemorrage ;  in  fact  they  pay  Uttle  attention  to  their  wounded 
men;  if  they  are  not  able  to  travel,  they  are  abandoned.  One  of 
the  King's  criers  had  his  thigh  dislocated  at  the  hip  joint  with  an 
anchylosis  of  the  knee;  the  limb  was  considerably  longer  than  the 
other,  and  the  accident  must  have  occurred  a  long  time  ago,  as  he 
walks  very  well. 

During  the  time  we  remained  in  Coomassie,  and  from  our  first 
entrance  into  the  Ashantee  country,  1  was  every  day  applied  to 
for  advice  and  medicines  by  those  who  were  afflicted  with  dis- 
eases, of  which  the  number  was  great,  and  in  the  capital  more 
especially,  from  its  very  unhealthy  situation,  being  entirely  sur- 
rounded by  an  extensive  tract  of  swampy  ground,  and  the  natives 
consequently  very  subject  to  dysentery  and  fever.  On  first  enter- 
ing the  country  I  was  applied  to  by  numbers  of  patients,  many  of 
them  miserable  objects,  from  the  effects  of  the  venereal  disease :  to 
as  many  of  those  as  applied,  during  our  halt  in  a  town,  I  gave 
boxes  of  pills  and  strict  directions  for  their  use,  and  told  them  if 
they  came  to  Coomassie  during  my  residence  there,  I  would  do 
every  thing  in  my  power  to  cure  them.  Many  availed  themselves 
of  my  offer,  and  attended  me  on  my  arrival.  To  those  who  had 
ulcers  or  wounds,  1  applied  the  proper  dressings,  and  left  with 
them  lint,  adhesive  plaister,  and  ointment.  Most  of  them  as  a 
mark  of  their  gratitude,  sent  presents  of  fowls,  fruit,  palm  oil, 
wine,  &c.  to  me  after  I  had  arrived  in  the  capital.  One  man  in 
Assiminia,  who  was  nearly  in  the  last  stage  of  existence  from  a 
complication  of  disorders,  originating  from  lues  venerea,  after  I 
had  seen  him,  sent  every  week  to  Coomassie  for  medicines,  and 
completely  recovered.  Another  in  Sarrasoo  who  had  the  worst 
looking  ulcers  of  the  inferior  extremities,  that  I  have  ever  seen, 

did  the  same,  and  with  the  same  success,    A  great  many  caboceers 

3  c 


378  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

attended  me  every  morning  with  their  slaves  and  children  affected 
with  dropsy,  crawcraws,  yaws,  fever,  bowel  complaints,  &c.  and 
expressed  the  most  unbounded  thanks  for  the  medicine  and 
advice  they  received. 

At  the  King's  particular  request,  1  attended  his  own  brother, 
the  heir  apparent,  who  had  oedematous  feet  :  by  the  use  of  fric- 
tion, a  roller,  and  an  alterative  course  of  calomel,  and  diuretics, 
he  soon  recovered. 

The  King's  uncle,  heir  to  the  crown  after  the  brother,  was 
severely  tormented  with  stricture  of  the  urethra ;  he  could  only  pass 
urine,  drop  by  drop;  three  weeks  passing  the  catheter,  enabled 
him  to  make  it  in  a  full  stream  ;  w^hen  he  immediately  requested 
some  powerfully  stimulating  medicine  to  correct  im potency,  which 
it  was  not  in  my  power  to  grant. 

The  captain  whose  office  it  is  to  drown  any  of  the  King's 
family  who  have  offended,  had  an  ulcer  two  inches  long  in  the 
palate  bone;  when  he  drank,  part  of  the  fluid  passed  out  of  his 
nose,  and  his  speech  was  very  unintelligible;  the  sides  of  the  open- 
ing were  scarified,  and  the  granulations  touched  every  third  or 
fourth  day  Avith  lunar  caustic  until  they  united ;  he  got  well  in  one 
month. 

The  only  unfortunate  case  I  attended,  was  our  guide  Quamina 
Bwa;  shortly  after  we  arrived  in  Coomassie  he  was  attacked 
with  remittent  fever;  by  the  use  of  febrifuge  medicines,  the  cold 
bath,  bark,  &c.  he  recovered,  and  was  able  to  attend  his  usual 
duty  of  waiting  on  us,  Avhen  we  visited  the  king;  he  went  into 
the  country,  and  I  did  not  see  him  for  six  weeks;  at  the  end  of 
that  time,  he  sent  for  me,  and  I  found  him  labouring  under  a 
severe  biUous  dysentery,  and  liver  complaint.  I  was  unable  to 
prevent  the  formation  of  matter  in  his  liver;  it  formed  a  large 
swelling  with   distinct  fluctuation,  and  as  he  hesitated  to  have  it 


DISEASES.  379 

discharged  by  puneturing  with  a  trochar,  it  burst  internally,  and 
he  died.  I  had  one  case  of  cancer  of  the  upper  lip,  although  the 
disease  is  said  rarely  to  occur  in  that  part.  This  case  had  all  the 
marks  of  a  true  cancer;  I  dressed  it  every  day  during  the  whole 
time  I  remained  in  Coomassie,  but  the  effect  flattered  and  dis- 
appointed me  by  turns. 

The  most  importunate  man  for  medicine,  especially  of  an  in- 
vigorating kind,  in  the  whole  Ashantee  country,  was  old  Apokoo, 
the  treasurer  and  chief  favourite.  He  was  afflicted  with  inguinal 
hernia:  I  wrote  to  Cape  Coast  for  a  truss,  which  I  applied,  and 
it  gave  him  immediate  relief  and  satisfaction.  He  would  take  the 
most  nauseous  drug  with  pleasure.  I  generally  gave  him  bark 
and  peppermint  water,  which  he  regularly  either  sent  or  came  for 
every  day,  during  the  two  last  months  of  our  residence,  and 
earnestly  requested  me  to  leave  plenty  of  medicine  with  Mr.  Hutchi- 
son, the  British  resident  there.  Most  of  the  chief  men  were  very 
earnest  in  their  solicitations  for  me  to  give  them  stimulating  medi- 
cines. I  always  assured  them  that  it  was  impossible,  that  the 
English  never  used  any,  and  that  nothing  astonished  me  more 
than  that  they  should  ask  for  such  things.  Their  answers  were, 
"  they  knew  that  the  English  had  good  heads  and  knew  every 
thing,  and  must  know  that  too,  but  I  did  not  wish  to  give  them 
any." 
A  List  of  the  Diseases  which  I  have  seen  in  the  Ashantee  countrt/. 


Febris  remittens     - 

2 

cases 

Scrophula 

-  many  cases 

Hepatitis 

1 

Syphilis 

-  many 

Dysenteria  mucosa 

6 

Gonorrhoea  - 

-       2 

CoUca     -        -         - 

1 

Stricture 

-       3 

Anasarca 

3 

Cataract 

-       2 

Ascites 

3 

Staphyloma  - 

-       5 

380 


MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 


Ectropiura    - 

1  case 

Umbilical  ( hernia) 

many 

Broncho  cele 

-  many 

Dracunculus 

7 

Cephalagia    - 

-  many 

Tinea  capitis 

many 

Odontalgia    - 

-     10 

Hydrocele     - 

many 

Ulcers 

-       8 

Cancer 

1 

Framboesia  - 

-  many 

Elephantiasis 

1 

Psora 

-  many 

Lepra 

7 

Hernia  inguinal 

-       1 

MR.  HUTCHISON'S  DIARY.  381 


CHAPTER  XII. 


Mr.  Hutchison's  Diary. 

i^EPTEMBER  26.  After  we  left  the  palace  this  morning,  Apokoo 
invited  me  home  to  take  some  refreshment.  He  entered  into  a 
long  conversation  concerning  the  slave  trade:  he  heard,  he  said, 
that  an  English  vessel  had  arrived  at  Cape  Coast,  and  had  brought 
out  a  letter  from  the  King  of  England  to  the  Governor-in-Chief, 
ordering  a  renewal  of  the  slave  trade,  and  asked  me,  if  I  had  re- 
ceived any  letter.  I  said  I  had  not,  but  if  such  a  thing  had  taken 
place,  I  thought  I  should  have  early  accounts.  He  enquired  what 
were  the  objections  we  had  to  "  buy  men  ?"  I  told  him  what  I 
conceived  to  be  proper ;  he  laughed  at  our  ideas,  and  enquired  if 
the  king  of  Dahomey  had  not  sent  a  "  book  four  moons  ago  to 
Cape  Coast,  inviting  the  English  to  trade  again,  in  his  kingdom." 
I  replied  there  Avas  a  message  sent,  but  I  could  not  say  exactly  in 
what  words,  as  I  was  at  Dix  Cove  at  the  time.  "  England,"  he 
said,  "  was  too  fond  of  fighting,  her  soldiers  were  the  same  as 
dropping  a  stone  in  a  pond,  they  go  farther  and  farther:"  at  the 
same  time  he  described  an  enlarging  circle  with  his  hand,  and 
shook  his  finger  and  head  significantly  at  me.  He  was  anxious 
for  me  to  write  a  "  proper  book"  on  the  slave  trade,  many  slaves, 
he  told  me,  had  revolted,  and  joining  the  Buntokoo  standard  were 
to  fight  against  them ;  there  were  too  many  slaves  in  the  country, 
(an  opinion  I  tacitly  acquiesced  in),  and  they  wanted  to  get  rid  of 


382  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

some  of  them.  There  might  be  a  deal  of  trouble  from  them;  he 
alone  had  one  slave,  who  had  1000  followers  at  arms,  and  he 
might  trouble  them  as  Cudjo  Cooma  did,  who  was  a  slave  of  his 
when  he  revolted,  and  whose  adherents  alone  were  10,000,  inde- 
pendent of  runaways,  &c. 

In  the  afternoon  the  King  sent  me  a  ceremonious  message,  with 
his  compliments,  saying  he  would  be  glad  if  I  attended  him  in  his 
customs,  &c.  when  he  should  sit  in  public.  I  replied  that  I  would 
be  happy  to  do  so,  as  it  was  the  King's  wish,  except  when 
human  sacrifices  were  offered,  but  then  it  M^ould  be  contrary  to  my 
inclinations,  my  religion,  and  my  instructions. 

Shortly  after  I  was  told  the  King  was  in  the  market-place  drink- 
ing palm  wine.  I  went  for  the  first  time  and  took  my  seat  on  his 
left.  The  King  made  me  a  present  of  a  pot  of  wine,  as  did 
several  of  his  chiefs.  When  he  drank,  the  whole  of  the  music 
played,  while  the  executioners,  holding  their  swords  with  their 
right  hands,  covered  their  noses  with  their  left,  whilst  they  sung 
his  victories  and  titles.  About  half  a  dozen  small  boys  stood  be- 
hind his  chair,  and  finished  the  whole  with  a  fetish  hymn.  The 
King  enquired  how  many  servants  I  had,  and  several  questions  of 
the  same  kind.  After  sitting  about  half  an  hour  the  assembly 
broke  up,  the  King  rising  first,  which  is  the  signal  to  retire. 

Since  the  mission  departed  I  have  not  been  annoyed  by  any 
boys  calling  after  me.  After  seeing  Messrs.  Bowdich  and  Tedlie 
through  the  town,  on  their  going  away,  as  I  returned  home  the 
crowds  thanked  me  as  I  passed,  for  staying.  I  suppose  they 
hardly  imagined,  Avhen  it  came  to  the  last,  that  I  Avould  do  so: 
indeed  when  I  returned  to  my  lodgings  I  found  them  solitary 
enough;  and,  in  the  night  time,  three  men  found  their  way  into 
the  house;  one  of  my  servants  awakening,  shouted  out;  I  struck 
at  one  of  them  with  my  sword,  but  missed  him  :  in  the  morning  it 


MR.  HUTCHISON'S  DIARY.  383 

was  discovered  that  he  had  succeeded  in  stealing  nearly  half  a  sheep, 
a  quantity  of  kankey  belonging  to  the  boys,  and  a  table  knife.  I  am 
not  sanguine  enough  to  imagine  I  shall  be  long  allowed  to  take  my 
walks  unmolested  ;  when  the  novelty  of  my  remaining  alone  passes 
away,  they  will  return  to  their  old  insolencies. 

Monday  29-  Paid  Apokoo  a  visit,  and  dashed  him  a  ra^or. 
Several  people  were  there  talking  palavers,  and  wishing  him  to 
interest  the  King  for  them  ;  among  others,  an  old  captain  com- 
plained heavily  of  Quamina  Bwa,  our  guide,  but  since  dead,  who 
he  said  had  stolen  a  slave  from  him  and  sold  him  during  the  Fantee 
war;  he  had  unavailingly  applied  to  the  family,  he  therefore 
wished  it  to  be  brought  before  the  Kino-. 

Apokoo  complained  of  head-ach,  and  one  of  his  women  brought 
a  decoction  of  herbs,  which  she  poured  into  a  hollow  piece  of  wood 
Avith  two  tubes,  these  were  inserted  in  the  nostrils,  and  the  liquor 
poured  in,  while  the  head  was  held  back,  and  afterwards  spit  out 
by  the  mouth ;  I  have  seen  the  same  poured  into  the  ear  for  a  like 
complaint.  He  wished  me  to  try  a  little  of  it ;  I  of  course  declined 
it.  He  called  one  of  his  daughter's,  and  wished  me  to  consaw,  or 
espouse  her ;  I  told  him  she  was  too  young ;  he  said  that  was 
nothing,  as  he  would  keep  her  for  me :  he  added,  the  Ashantee 
custom  was,  if  a  great  man's  wife  with  child  took  another  man's 
fancy,  he  consawed  the  child  in  the  womb,  and  if  born  a  girl,  when 
she  grew  up  she  became  his  wife ;  if  a  boy,  it  was  his  to  serve  and 
attend  on  him,  and  he  took  care  of  it.  Four  ounces  of  gold  it 
generally  cost  to  consaw  a  girl.  I  said  he  was  a  rich  man  ;  "  true," 
he  replied,  "  but  it  sometimes  costs  eight  or  ten  ounces,  sometimes 
only  two."  Observing  a  bow  and  arrows  standing  in  the  room,  I 
began  to  amuse  myself  with  shooting  them ;  he  told  me  these  were 
only  for  play,  but  when  they  went  to  fight,  they  tipped  them  with 
iron,  and  put  a  deadly  poison  on  it,  which  caused  almost  instant 


884  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

death ;  the  poison  is  made  from  vegetables  boiled  in  a  large  pot, 
and  the  arrows  steeped  in  it.  He  shewed  me  the  marks  of  two  arrow 
wounds  Avhich  he  received  in  battle.  He  then  began  to  consult  his 
fetish,  by  a  quantity  of  strings,  with  various  ornaments  on  one  end 
to  denote  their  good  or  evil  qualities ;  these  were  mixed  promis- 
cuously together,  and  taking  them  in  his  right  hand,  he  put  them 
behind  his  back,  and  drew  out  one  with  his  left ;  this  was  repeated 
about  20  times.  A  wicker  basket  was  then  brought  on  a  small 
stool  covered  with  a  silk  cloth,  in  it  were  two  lumps  like  pin- 
cushions, made  of  eggs,  palm  oil,  &c.:  he  then  turned  up  the  bottom 
of  his  stool,  and  making  three  holes  in  it  with  something  like  a 
cobler's  awl,  he  drove  in  three  pegs  with  a  stone,  muttering  to 
himself  all  the  time,  and  waving  each  string  round  his  right  ear; 
an  egg  was  then  brought  in  broken  at  one  end,  and  placed  alter- 
nately on  the  lumps  in  the  basket,  and  crushed  on  the  stool  where 
the  pegs  were  put  in  :  this  he  did  every  morning  before  he  went 
out,  to  keep  him  out  of  bad  palavers  through  the  day. 

Tuesday  30.  This  morning  Apokoo  invited  me  to  take  a  share 
of  his  umbrella,  and  attend  the  King,  who  went  to  finish  his  ablu- 
tions. We  walked  along  through  an  immense  crowd  ;  the  streets 
were  lined  with  the  chiefs  and  their  respective  suites.  We  went 
down  to  the  place  where  the  King  washes ;  a  low  platform  was 
erected  where  the  stools  were  laid  on  their  sides.  The  linguists  and 
officers  of  the  household  stood  on  one  side  holding  gold  rods  and 
canes,  the  fetishmen  formed  a  crescent  to  the  north  side.  The  King 
performed  the  ceremony  of  laving  the  water  over  himself,  sprink- 
ling the  various  articles  the  same  as  on  Saturday,  and  the  proces- 
sion concluded  as  before. 

On  walking  back  Apokoo  wished  to  try  on  one  of  my  gloves, 
and  as  usual  put  it  on  the  wrong  hand  ;  his  gold  castanets  pinched 
him  when  the  glove  was  on,  which  made  him  shout  out  rather 


MR.  HUTCHISON'S  DIARY.  385 

lustily,  and  stop  short,  I  called  out  "  you  stop  the  King \'  "  never 
mind,"  said  he,  and  his  attendants  pulled  to  get  the  glove  ofif. 
The  King  sent  to  know  what  occasioned  the  stoppage,  Apokoo 
held  up  his  hand  compressed,  exclaixning,  "  Gamphnee,"  (it  hurts 
me,)  and  stopped  till  it  was  got  off". 

In  the  afternoon  I  called  on  Odumata,  who  said  he  was  angry 
that  I  had  not  called  before.  I  told  him  I  came  to  thank  him  for 
allowing  a  slave  boy  he  has,  to  do  any  thing  for  me ;  he  said  I 
might  have  him  so  as  1  fed  him,  I  replied  I  would  do  so.  He 
entered  into  conversation  concerning  the  power  of  England  over 
other  nations,  and  the  danger  of  going  to  sea ;  he  had  lived  three 
years  at  Apollonia  when  a  young  man,  and  had  seen  many  Portu- 
guese, but  did  not  like  them,  "  as  they  were  all  wenches!"  He 
seemed  pleased  that  I  did  not  like  them  either.  He  wished  me  to 
purchase  a  horse  from  him  for  eight  ounces,  I  said  I  would  give  him 
four."  "  I  must  not  want  one,  or  I  would  not  offer  him  so,"  was 
his  reply.  I  said  that  I  had  no  place  to  ride  it  in,  the  country 
being  all  bush,  and  the  King  did  not  like  me  to  go  very  far ;  he 
replied,  they  were  soon  going  to  fight,  and,  as  I  should  go  with 
them,  it  would  be  better  for  me  to  have  a  horse  to  ride  than  to 
walk.  I  answered,  I  should  lay  hold  of  some  wild  boar  and  gallop 
it;  this  observation  struck  him  with  astonishment,  and  stroking 
down  his  beard,  he  asked  ray  servant  if  he  thought  I  could  do  so, 
who  replied,  if  I  took  it  in  my  head  I  certainly  would.  Odumata 
said  the  people  would  think  the  devil  was  come  among  them.  This 
he  told  me  is  the  last  day  of  the  year,  according  to  their  calcula- 
tion, but  from  what  reason  I  do  not  know.  In  the  Sarem  countries, 
he  told  me,  they  work  iron  from  the  stone,  and  silver,  gold,  &c.  into 
trinkets,  better  than  in  Ashantee.  I  enquired  why  they  did  not  make 
iron  here,  as  they  have  plenty  of  ore  ;  his  reply  was  truly  African  ; 
*'  why  should  they  do  so,  when  they  had  plenty  of  gold  to  buy  it, 

3   D 


38f;  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

and  could  get  it  so  near."  I  told  him  of  England's  resources  from 
her  own  manufactories ;  he  said  it  was  not  good  for  white  men  to 
know  so  much;  if  black  men  knew  those  things  they  would  all  run 
to  England,  When  I  got  home  I  sent  him  a  present  of  a  razor,  he 
sent  two  messengers  to  thank  me,  such  is  their  fashion  ;  and  for 
even  the  smallest  article  they  return  thanks  the  next  day.  Odumata 
enquired  why  I  did  not  get  drunk  sometimes,  and  come  to  see  him 
then,  I  told  him,  were  I  to  get  drunk  in  Ashantee,  I  ought  to  have 
my  sword  broke  over  my  head,  that  I  had  indeed  got  tipsey  the 
evening  before  I  came  away,  with  my  friends,  and  might  perhaps 
do  so  when  I  returned,  but  not  till  then.  He  gave  me  some  palm 
wine,  and  looked  amazed  at  my  swallowing  only  half  a  tumbler  full, 
"  he  would  drink  three  pots  before  he  Avent  to  bed!"  (about  15 
gallons.) 

Wednesday,  October  1.  The  King  dictated  a  letter  to  the  Gover- 
nor at  Cape  Coast,  stating,  that  the  King  of  Cape  Coast  had  broken 
the  law  by  insulting  an  Ashantee  man,  who  swore,  by  the  King  of 
Ashantee's  head,  that  if  the  Cape  Coast  King  did  not  kill  him,  he 
must  pay  110  periguins  of  gold  to  the  King.  This  practice,  though 
it  savours  of  madness,  is  yet  often  resorted  to  for  revenge,  as  it  is 
almost  sure  to  end  in  the  ruin  of  the  other  party.  The  Cape  Coast 
Kino-  had  threatened,  that  the  Governor  would  put  the  Ashantee 
man  in  the  slave  hole  till  he  died,  which  appeard  to  irritate  the 
King  very  much. 

The  King  then  enquired  if  I  had  any  yams  at  home;  I  told  him 
I  had  a  few  of  his  last  present;  he  told  me  he  would  send  more  to 
the  house  for  me,  which  he  did,  and  gave  me  5^  ackies  gold  ;  then 
pressed  me  to  take  some  gin  and  water;  on  his  being  told  that  it 
mustjbe  very  little,  for  I  was  afraid  of  an  attack  of  spleen  and  liver, 
and  eat  little  and  walked  much,  he  said  that  was  proper. 

Thursday  2.  Through  this  and  the  afternoon  of  yesterday  I  felt 


MR.  HUTCHISON'S  DIARY.  387 

very  feverish,  not  being  able  to  get  any  sleep  for  the  rats  at  night. 
I  kept  my  room  all  day  ;  the  King  sent  a  pot  of  palm  wine  in  the 
evening.     Adoo  Quamina  called. 

Friday  3.  Whilst  writing  letters,  Apokoo  sent  his  compliments 
and  would  be  happy  to  see  me ;  I  went,  and  he  said  he  was  sorry 
he  had  not  seen  me  for  some  days.  I  told  him  I  was  sick  the  two 
former  days,  and  to-day  was  writing  to  ray  family  how  I  liked 
Ashantee ;  he  hoped  I  would  give  the  King  a  good  name  in  Eng- 
land. I  should  tell  truth.  He  enquired  if  I  would  like  to  see  his 
croom  (village.)  I  replied  3'es  !  He  was  going  there  this  evening, 
and  if  no  palaver  came,  he  would  send  his  people  for  me  in  the 
morning,  to  carry  me.  He  asked  if  I  was  not  for  one  of  his  daugh- 
ters, that  he  might  be  called  my  father.  He  then  enquired  why  I 
did  not  wear  my  hair  tied,  and  Jet  my  beard  grow;  he  recollected 
Colonel  Torrane  and  Mr.  White  having  tails  at  the  siege  of  Anna- 
maboe,^  and  they  looked  very  handsome.  He  requested  me  to 
show  him  the  skin  of  my  arm,  he  gazed  on  it  with  seeming  plea- 
sure, begged  I  would  allow  him  to  touch  it ;  on  receiving  permis- 
sion, he  rubbed  his  hand  over  it,  exclaiming  "  Popa  Taffia,"  (very 
handsome)  and  repeated  his  invitation  to  go  to  the  croom.  I  took 
my  leave. 

As  I  was  going  home  I  met  a  man  white- washed,  carrying  a 
vessel  covered  over  with  a  white  cloth :  this  I  have  been  often  told 
is  Tando  fetish,  but  can  learn  nothing  more.  Music  and  a  great 
crowd  went  with  it  to  Adoo  Quamina's  house,  at  the  front  of  which 
\hcy  put  it  down,  and  sacrificed  a  child  of  Cudjoo  Cooma's,  the 
Akim  revolter,  over  it,  as  an  annual  sacrifice  of  the  King's. 

Saturday  4.  Apokoo  sent  his  people  for  me  in  the  morning,  who 
took  me  to  his  croom,  about  three  miles  S.  W.  of  Coomassie.  The 
road  was  in  good  order,  and  newly  cut  on  account  of  my  going ; 
his  slaves  all  turned  out  to  see  me,  many  of  them  never  having  seen 


388  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

a  white  man  before.  Apokoo  came  to  the  entrance  of  the  croom, 
which  is  small,  to  meet  me,  and  took  me  into  the  place  where  he 
lives  himself;  it  is  like  all  country  houses  here,  a  square  lined  with 
palm  leaves  and  thatched  with  grass ;  his  own  room,  raised  on  the 
iioor,  painted  with  red  inchuma  or  ochre,  and  at  one  end  of  it,  his 
couch  raised  on  wood  with  plaited  palm  leaves,  and  covered  with 
large  cotton  cushions.  Near  his  head  hung  three  strings  of  fetish, 
made  of  gold,  red  earth,  horn,  and  bone,  in  the  shape  of  thigh 
bones,  horns,  jaw  bones,  &c.  &c.  One  side  of  the  square  was 
fitted  up  with  a  forge  and  bellows  to  work  gold  ;  another  served  as 
a  cooking  place,  and  the  fourth  for  his  sons  to  sleep  in.  About 
1 1  o'clock  he  went  to  one  of  the  side  places  to  eat,  that  he  might 
not  trouble  me  in  his  room,  as  he  said.  Before  he  began,  small 
pieces  of  yam  were  laid  on  his  fetish ;  a  small  table  was  then  set 
before  him,  and  clean  water  poured  into  a  brass  pan,  Avith  which 
he  washed  his  right  hand,  and  then  eat  with  it: — they  are  careful 
not  to  touch  victuals  with  their  left  hand.  A  large  pot  of  3'ams  and 
another  offish  being  boiled,  he  satisfied  himself  first ;  the  remainder 
was  then  divided  into  as  many  lots  as  there  were  persons  to  partake; 
when  the  door  was  opened,  and  about  twenty  sons  and  daughters, 
with  their  calabashes,  received  each  their  mess.  He  had  given  my 
servant  two  fowls,  some  fish  and  yams,  and  told  him  to  make  any 
thing  I  could  eat;  I  told  him  to  make  a  soup  of  the  fowls.  When  I 
was  eating,  Apokoo  said  he  thought  I  was  ashamed,  and  requested 
I  would  let  him  put  down  the  screen ;  I  told  him  I  dared  not  eat 
much  through  the  day,  being  afraid  of  sickness.  He  enquired  if  I 
wished  to  go  to  sleep,  for  his  couch  was  at  my  service.  I  declined 
the  offer,  and  he  went  to  sleep  himself.  Shortly  after,  four  of  his 
\vives  came  from  town  with  a  mess  for  him ;  he  was  awaked  to 
know  if  they  were  to  have  admittance,  as  usual :  he  ordered  thenn. 
to  set  down  the  meat  and  go  away ;  they  pretended  to  do  so,  but 


MR.  HUTCHISON  S  DIARY.  389 

sat  down  under  one  of  the  sheds,  and  began  to  annoy  the  slaves 
bttt  their  stifled  laughter  soon  awoke  Apokoo,  who  stretched  out 
his  neck,  and  seeing  them,  told  them  in  a  passion,  it  was  because  I 
was  there  that  they  wished  to  stop,  and  that  they  had  better  be  off; 
they  took  the  hint  and  made  their  retreat.     He  got  up  to  shew  me 
his  gold  ornaments,  which  weighed  146"  bendas  (<£1]68.)  and  made 
his  people  kindle  the  forge  fire  to  melt  some  rock  gold  to  make  a 
fish ;  but  the  mould  not  being  perfect,  it  was  spoiled.    He  enquired 
if  ever  I  had  been  in  a  yam  plantation ;  on  my  replying  in  the  nega- 
tive, we  went  to  see  one ;  he  asked  if  I  would  allow  him  to  ride  in 
my  hammock,  I  gave  him  leave ;  it  was  better  than  his  basket,  he 
said,  except  that  he  did  not  like  his  legs  hanging  down.    He  wished 
me  to  dig  up  a  yam  ;  the  people  brought  me  a  long  pointed  sticky 
which  is  forced  into  the  earth  to  loosen  the  yam,  afterwards  the 
fibres  are  cut  with  a  knife.     After  I  had  dug  up  ten,  he  hoped  I 
would  accept  of  them  as  a  present;  yams  are  set  like  potatoes  in 
Europe,  they  are  put  in  the  ground  about  December,  so  that  they 
are  nine  months  growing  to  maturity.     He  said  he  should  not  go  to 
Coomassie  that  night,  as  he  had  to  decorate  his  drums  with  tigers 
skins,  but  that  he  would  be  in  on  Tuesday.     If  I  wished  to  come 
out  and  see  him  before  that  time  he  would  send  people  for  me,  and 
be  glad.     I  said  I  should  come  out  some  other  time,  but  not  so 
soon.     I  set  off  for  Coomassie  about  six  o'clock,  having  spent  a 
very  agreeable  day. 

About  seven  o'clock  the  King  sent  for  me ;  on  my  going,  he 
would  trouble  me,  he  said,  to  read  a  book  he  had  that  day  found 
in  a  man's  possession.  It  proved  to  be  a  Danish  note  to  the  King 
for  three  ounces  per  month,  dated  August  1, 1811 ;  it  seemed  as  if 
a  seal  had  been  affixed  to  it,  but  the  impression  had  disappeared, 
and  it  was  very  much  worn.  The  King  said  he  never  knew  of  it ; 
that  an  Ashantee  captain  had  received  and  kept  it,  but  lie  would 


390  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

enquire  about  it  His  majesty  wished  me  to  drink  something,  I 
declined  it;  he  hoped  I  was  not  sick,  I  said  no,  but  drinking  made 
my  head  ach  ;  he  hoped  I  would  sleep  sound,  paid  me  many  com- 
pliments that  I  cannot  repeat;  enquired  of  my  servant  if  I  was  a 
good  master,  with  other  questions  of  the  like  nature. 

Saturday  11.  The  King  sent  for  me,  and  on  going  to  the  palace 
I  found  them  in  full  council  talking  palavers.  Adoosee  was  order- 
ing a  messenger  to  go  to  Quamina  Bootaqua,  to  make  him  proceed 
to  Cape  Coast,  and  inform  the  Governor  that  Paynlree  had  sworn 
by  the  King  and  had  broke  his  oath,  Bootaqua  having  sent  word 
to  the  King  of  it ;  but  they  did  not  mention  any  thing  to  uie.  After 
this,  Adoosee  informed  me,  that  messengers  have  gone  from  Aman- 
foo,  sent  by  Sam  Brue,  to  complain  that  the  Cape  Coast  people 
had  come  armed  against  him  to  kill  him.  After  hearing  a  long 
statement  of  grievances,  they  told  me  I  must  write  to  the  Governor 
about  it ;  I  said  I  would,  at  the  same  time  I  assured  the  King  that 
Sam  Brue  was  a  slave  trader,  and  not  to  be  tolerated  at  Cape  Coast, 
his  conduct  was  so  infamous  ;  they  then  called  on  his  messenger  to 
know  what  reason  Sam  had  to  leave  Cape  Coast;  he  entered  at 
great  length  into  the  grievances  experienced  by  Brue  from  the 
Governor  in  Chief  and  officers,  because  he  owed  eight  ounces  of 
gold ;  I  was  called  in  to  reply,  which  1  said  I  could  not  conde- 
scend to  do,  until  I  heard  from  the  Governor  in  Chief,  as  they 
had  sent  messengers  to  complain  to  him.  Adoosee  charged  four 
messengers  with  what  they  were  to  tell  the  Governor,  making  them 
take  fetish  and  other  formalities  usual  only  on  great  occasions, 
thereby  giving  the  affair  an  importance  it  did  not  merit.  The  King, 
on  the  breaking  up  of  the  council,  said  he  would  send  for  me 
shortly  after,  to  write  an  account  of  the  affair  to  the  Governor;  when 
I  returned  home,  I  did  communicate  the  whole  to  the  Governor,  as 
the  King's  letters  are  so  hurried. 


MR    HUTCHISON'S  DIARY.  891 

I  heard  nothing  from  the  King  all  day,  but  at  night  a  Fantee 
man  called  on  me,  who  had  been  taken  by  the  Ashantees  in  last 
year's  war,  and  whom  I  had  been  trying  to  liberate  by  speaking 
in  his  behalf  to  the  King,  and  concerning  four  ounces  of  gold  that 
had  been  taken.  The  captain  concerned  in  it,  to  get  quit  of  the 
palaver,  had  urged  one  of  his  wives  to  swear  the  man  had  lain 
with  her ;  she  accordingly  made  a  formal  complaint ;  the  man  was 
put  in  irons  in  the  bush  and  only  released  yesterday  morning  as 
they  thought  to  catch  the  King  when  he  had  some  palavers  pending, 
which  would  make  him  angry  ;  they  therefore  brought  it  before 
the  King  yesterday  morning,  thinking  he  would  order  the  man's 
head  to  be  cut  off;  but  he  told  the  King  that  this  palaver  was 
brought  against  him  because  I  had  spoken  for  him  ;  the  woman 
w'as  called,  who  insisted  the  man  had  lain  with  her,  the  man  de- 
nied it,  and  on  being  offered  fetish  he  cheerfully  took  it,  and  swore 
by  the  King  to  the  contrary.  The  woman  Avould  not  do  so,  and 
the  King  ordered  the  irons  to  be  taken  from  the  man,  and  put  on 
the  woman,  telling  her,  she  had  not  looked  at  the  man  properly,  as 
it  must  be  some  other  person. 

Tuesday  14.  This  morning  a  man  was  beheaded  at  the  door  of 
the  house  where  I  live,  by  Aboidwee,  the  house  master:  it  appears, 
the  man  in  question  was  brother  to  a  caboceer,  and  presump- 
tive heir  to  his  property  ;  tired  of  Availing  so  long  he  made  fetish 
incantations,  and  other  ceremonies  peculiar  to  them,  to  destroy  his 
brother;  this  coming  to  the  brother's  ears,  and  also,  that  he  had 
enjoyed  one  of  his  wives  five  times,  he  complained  to  the  King  and 
requested  he  would  put  the  offender  to  death  to  save  his  own  life; 
the  King  complied,  and  ordered  Aboidwee  to  put  the  sentence  in 
execution. 

Wednesday  15.  The  Adai  custom.  I  went  as  usual  with  flags, 
and  first  received  the  usual  offering  of  rum,  and  ten  ackies  of  gold 


392  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

instead  of  a  sheep.  I  called  on  Baba,  the  chief  of  the  Moors,  in 
the  afternoon,  who  said  he  would  teach  me  Arabic  if  I  would 
teach  him  English;  I  said  I  would;  but  I  am  afraid  he  is  too  old 
for  progress.  I  called  on  Odumata  in  my  wa}'  back,  who  anno^'ed 
me  as  usual  to  drink  palm  wine,  although  it  gives  me  a  head  ache. 
Akotoo,  the  King's  brother,  was  there,  who  said  he  had  only  seen 
me  four  times  since  the  mission  went  away,  and  wished  me  to  call 
on  him.  The  conversation  turned  on  the  King's  going  to  war, 
and  his  anxiety  for  me  to  go  and  see  how  they  killed  their  enemies, 
and  he  would  give  me  gold  to  feed  me.  I  was  told  by  a  Fantee 
man,  that  Sam  Brue  had  procured  200  guns  and  a  quantity  of 
powder  for  the  King,  for  slaves  he  had  sold  to  the  Spaniards  now 
on  the  coast. 

Friday  17.  Deputies  from  the  Warsaw  states  arrived  a  few  days 
ago,  to  settle  the  differences  between  them  and  the  Ashantees.  It 
is  thought,  a  fine  to  the  King  and  future  tribute  may  compromise 
the  matter.  Odumata  informed  me,  that  the  slave  ship  has  600 
slaves  on  board  ;  and  that,  through  Sam  Brue's  exertions ;  he 
confirmed  the  report  of  the  guns  and  powder. 

Sunday  19-  The  heaviest  rain,  thunder,  and  hghtning  I  ever 
saw,  and  has  continued  for  several  days  and  nights.  About 
7  o'clock  A.  M.  the  King's  drums  announced  his  going  to  the 
market-place,  where  all  his  chiefs  went  and  were  drenched  with 
wet  till  2  o'clock  P.  M.  when  the  King  sent  for  rum  and  palm 
wine  and  dismissed  them  drunk  and  dirty.  On  Monday  the  scene 
was  continued  till  the  slaves  had  got  the  house  covered  in. 

Tuesday  21.  A  gay  the  linguist  returned  from  Assin,  where  he 
had  been  four  months ;  and  brought  with  him  a  number  of  Fan- 
tees  and  their  families,  as  slaves.  During  the  eruption  of  the 
Fantees  in  1816',  many  of  them  ran  to  the  Assin  country  to  try 
and  elude  the  vigilance  of  the  King,  but  he  heard  of  it,  and  sent 


MR.  HUTCHISON'S  DIARY.  398 

Agay  to  demand  them,  who,  after  a  long  negociation,  succeeded. 
A  council  was  held  at  Abrassoo  on  the  Barramang  road,  and  the 
slaves  were  sent  to  Barramang  to  build  a  new  croom  for  the  King. 

Sunday,  November  2.  The  King  has  been  busy  for  the  last 
twelve  days  making  fetish, &c.  for  the  success  of  the  war;  the 
Moors  going  every  morning  to  the  palace  for  prayer  and  sacrifice : 
to  day  being  Adai  custom,  I  went  as  usual,  and  received  ten 
ackies  of  gold  and  a  flask  of  rum,  the  foremost  in  the  assembly, 
which  was  numerous. 

Friday  7.  A  serious  palaver  has  arisen  between  the  King  and 
Adoosee  the  chief  linguist,  he  having  taken  a  bribe  from  some 
person  to  misrepresent  a  palaver  to  the  King  ;  this  coming  to  the 
King's  ear,  he  sent  in  a  fury  to  Adoosee,  who,  on  being  charged 
with  it,  thought  his  life  would  be  the  forfeit,  and  sent  an  express 
to  Apokoo  to  come  and  intercede  for  him  ;  Apokoo  being  at  his 
croom,  it  has  been  several  times  talked  before  the  King,  but  no 
settlement,  has  taken  place. 

Several  people  have  been  making  application  to  me  to  de- 
mand them  of  the  King,  as  belonging  to  the  forts,  having  been 
detained  as  slaves  during  the  Fantee  war,  and  when  Winnebah  fort 
was  destroyed.  They  are  commonly  very  old,  and  of  the  female 
sex. 

Saturday  8.  Adoosee  has  got  his  palaver  settled  by  paying 
twenty  ounces  of  gold,  and  six  or  eight  sheep  to  the  King;  Adoo- 
see's  friends  alleged  that  he  ought  not  to  pay  any  thing,  because 
when  any  palaver  comes  he  settles  it  at  once ;  but  if  he  is  not 
there,  they  have  to  go  to  council,  which  in  fact  is  true ;  but  not- 
withstanding his  abilities,  and  that  he  takes  his  seat  as  usual,  the 
King  looks  at  him  with  a  gloomy  eye.  The  King  has  been  busy 
making  human  sacrifices  for  the  success  of  the  war,  at  Bantama, 
Assafoo,  and  Aduma,  in  the  evenings  ;  and  the  Moors  make  their 

3  E 


894  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

offerings  of  sheep  in  the  palace  in  the  mornings  according  to  the 
moslem  ritual.  Though  the  zealous  Christian  may  lament  that  the 
Gospel  has  not  taken  place  of  the  fetish,  yet  the  friends  of  huma- 
nity will  rejoice  that  the  King  favours  the  Moors,  as  many  Uves 
have  been  saved  that  would  otherwise  have  been  destroyed  at  the 
present  crisis.  To  day  a  bullock  was  offered  up  in  the  chief 
market-place,  previous  to  the  entrance  of  the  chiefs,  caboceers,  &c. 
into  the  town,  to  meet  in  council,  and  determine  on  the  method  of 
conducting  the  war :  in  the  afternoon,  Boitinne  Quama,  King  of 
Dwabin,  sent  his  compliments  to  me  to  announce  his  arrival. 
Shortly  after,  the  various  bands  of  music  declared  the  arrival  of 
the  tributaries,  &c. ;  the  King  of  Ashantee  took  his  seat  in  the 
market-place,  and  received  their  compliments  as  they  passed 
before  him.  About  nine  o'clock  at  night  Boitinne,  King  of 
Dwabin  paid  me  a  private  visit,  and  brought  me  a  present  of  two 
curious  Gennet  cats. 

Sunday  9-  At  day  break  the  firing  of  guns,  music,  &c.  announced 
a  custom  for  the  husband  of  the  King's  sister  (the  second  woman  in 
the  kingdom),  he  having  died  in  the  bush  on  Friday,  about  7  o'clock; 
the  King  went  to  the  market-place  to  make  custom,  and  sacrificed 
two  men ;  several  others  were  killed  by  various  caboceers.  In  the 
evening  Apokoo  and  the  other  captains  who  are  to  exhibit  their 
gold,  paraded  the  streets,  firing  musketry,  &c. ;  the  crowd  was 
great.  At  8  o'clock,  his  majesty  of  Dwabin  came  with  the  mes- 
sengers he  sent  to  Cape  Coast  to  have  a  suit  of  clothes,  he  said  two 
trunks  were  at  his  house  and  he  brought  a  sword  to  shew  me, 
which  the  Governor  had  sent. 

Friday  14.  Before  I  got  up,  I  Avas  annoyed  with  a  crowd  of  cap- 
tains who  began  to  annoy  me  for  liquor.  I  ordered  them  out  and 
desired  a  boy  to  keep  the  door  fast.  I  sent  a  dash  of  wine,  rum, 
sugar,  soap,  butter,   and  perfumery  to  the  king,  Avho  was  highly 


MR.  HUTCHISON'S  DIARY.  395 

pleased.     To  all  the  principal  captains,  a  dash  of  rum,  wine,  and 
sugar,  till  I  had  nearly  expended  my  stock :  the  whole  day  was  a 
continual  annoyance  from  visitors,  troubling  me  for  drink,  but  as  I 
was  resolved  to  give  to  those  only  who  were  worthy,  many  of  them 
were  disappointed.     This  week  past  Apokoo  and  several  of  the 
captains  have  been  making  an  exhibition  of  their  riches ;  this  is 
generally  done  once  in  hfe,  by  those  who  are  in  favour  with  the 
King,  and  think  themselves  free  from  palavers.     It  is  done  by 
making  their  gold  into  various  articles  of  dress  for  show.     Apokoo, 
who  sent  for  me  before  his  uproar  began,  shewed  me  his  varieties, 
weighing  upwards  of  800  bendas  of  the  finest  gold ;  among  the 
articles,  was  a  girdle  two  inches  broad.      Gold  chains  for    the 
neck,  arms,  legs,  &c.  ornaments  for  the  ancles  of  all  descriptions, 
consisting  of  manacles,   with  keys,   bells,   chairs,  and  padlocks. 
For  his  numerous  family  of  wives,  children,  and   captains,  were 
armlets  and   various  ornaments.      A  superb  war  cap  of  eagle's 
feathers,  fetishes,  Moorish  charms,  «Scc.    Moorish  caps,  silk  dresses, 
purses,  bags,  &c.  made  of  monkey  skin.     Fans,  with  ivory  handles, 
made  of  tiger  skin,  and  decorated  with  silk.  New  umbrellas  made 
in  fantastical  shapes,  gold  swords  and  figures  of  animals,  birds, 
beasts,  and  fishes  of  the  same  metal;  his  drums,  and  various  instru- 
ments of  music,  were  covered  with  tiger  skin,  with  red  belts  for 
hanging  them.     Ivory  arrows  and  bows,  covered  with  silk  and 
skins,  and  many  other  weapons  of  war  or  fancy,  such  as  the  mind 
in  a  like  situation  would  devise.      Apokoo  was  anxious  that  I 
should  come  and  see  him  when  out,  but  from  the  noise,  I  judged 
that  they  were  too  turbulent  for  me  to  venture  without  a  chance 
of  being  insulted. 

Saturday  15.  Again  annoyed  by  the  people  wishing  for  drink. 
Apokoo  called  with  his  retinue  to  thank  me;  for  the  Governor  had 
given  his  people  a  flask  of  Jamaica  rum.     He  had  got  three  days 


396  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

to  play,  as  he  called  it,  and  was  sorry  that  he  had  not  seen  me. 
I  told  him  I  had  very  seldom  been  out,  except  when  there  was  no 
noise,  as  the  people  Avere  so  unruly  in  the  evening.  '-o 

Monday  17.  In  the  afternoon  Apokoo  sent  a  message,  saying 
he  was  come  to  the  door  of  the  house  to  play  and  sliew  me  his 
gold,  hoping  I  would  come  out.  I  went  and  found  a  Moorish 
carpet  spread,  at  one  end  of  which  I  was  seated  under  an  umbrella, 
while  Apokoo  and  his  wives,  children,  and  captains  danced  by  turns 
before  me.  Some  of  his  young  wives  were  dressed  with  great  taste, 
a  rich  silk  cloth  with  a  bag  made  of  fine  fur,  slung  over  the 
shoulder,  studded  with  gold  ornaments :  on  the  left  shoulder  they 
held  a  pistol,  and  in  the  right  hand  a  silver  bow  and  arrow. 
During  the  dance,  if  Apokoo  was  pleased  with  them  he  took  the 
bow  and  hung  it  on  some  of  the  ornaments,  when  she  retired  from 
the  dance;  this  was  a  strong  mark  of  approbation,  if  I  may  judge 
from  the  applause  that  followed  :  to  some  he  gave  a  little  gold. 
Several  times  he  took  from  their  necks  various  ornaments  which  he 
placed  on  my  knees  and  over  my  left  shoulder ;  this  was  the 
greatest  mark  of  honour  he  could  shew  me;  and  his  band  played 
a  tune  in  praise  of  England,  and  of  our  abilities  in  setthng  diflfer- 
ences.  Many  of  the  captains  sent  him  presents  of  gold  and  rum.' 
I  gave  him  a  large  flask  of  wine,  which  he  said  pleased  him  more 
than  all  the  others,  as  it  would  shew  the  people  I  thought  him  a 
good  man. 

'J'hursday  20.  The  Moorish  caboceer  of  Alphia  called  to  da}', 
requesting  I  would  allow  him  to  bring  his  brother  and  nephew  who 
had  arrived,  as  they  wished  to  see  me  :  on  receiving  my  permission 
he  sent  for  them,  and  as  they  immediately  made  their  appearance, 
they  must  have  been  waiting  at  the  door.  I  shewed  them  a  com- 
pass, sand-glass,  quadrant,  some  phosphorus,  and  several  other 
things;  at  the  sight  of  each  they  bent  their  heads  to  the  ground. 


MR.  HUTCHISON'S  DIARY.  397 

exclaiming  "  Allahoo  Akabir !"  God  is  great.  I  gave  the  caboceer 
a  wax  candle,  piece  of  a  perfumed  soap  (which  he  was  going  to 
eat !)  a  flask  of  Jamaica  rum,  and  some  sugar  ;  tilings  he  had  never 
seen  before  :  he  begged  to  be  allowed  to  touch  my  hand,  and  con- 
tinued calhng  out  Ah !  bielaneWasieh!  Ah  Nasara!  Ah  white  visier! 
Ah  Christian.  He  said  he  had  a  sister  whom  he  would  make  me  a 
present  of,  if  I  would  have  her.  The  caboceer  of  Alphia  is  brother 
to  the  caboceer  of  Premehinie,  east  of  Ashantee,  in  the  Sarem 
region,  and  subject  to  Sai  Tootoo  ;  it  is  14  days  journey  to  Alpliia, 
one  day  to  Brookoom,  where  the  head  fetish  of  that  country 
dwells,  and  one  day  more  to  Crumassia  and  Sodie,  a  range  of  high 
hills. 

1  told  him  I  would  buy  his  horse  if  he  would  put  a  reasonable 
price  on  it,  and  would  give  him  a  note  to  get  powder,  rum,  &c.  at  the 
Cape  :  he  said  the  Ashantees  brought  rum  to  Sarem,  but  they  boiled 
pepper  in  water  and  sold  it  to  them  ;  he  never  tasted  such  good 
adrue  (medicine)  as  mine. 

I  have  been  learning  Arabic  this  last  month,  principally  from 
the  Shereef  Abraham,  who  comes  from  Boussa,  where  Mungo  Park 
was  drowned,  and  he,  as  he  says,  was  an  eye  witness  to  it;  his 
great  sanctity  made  the  King  of  Ashantee  send  for  him  to  pray 
and  make  sacrifice  for  the  success  of  the  war.  The  other  Moors 
here  look  on  him  with  an  evil  eye,  because  he  will  not  wear  fetishes 
as  they  do,  and  be  present  at  human  sacrifice.  This  place  now 
presents  the  singular  spectacle  of  a  Christian  and  Mahometan 
agreeing  in  two  particulars,  rejecting  fetishes,  and  absenting  them- 
selves from  human  sacrifices  and  other  abominations:  tiie  rest  of 
the  people,  of  whatever  country  they  may  be,  when  the  King's 
horns  announce  any  thing  of  the  kind,  strive  who  will  get  there 
first  to  enjoy  the  agonies  of  the  victims.  The  Shereef  told  me  to- 
day, that  the  reason  he  came  so  seldom  to  see  me,  was,  that  the 


398  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE, 

King  had  heard  he  was  teaching  me  the  Koran,  but  he  wished  him 
not  to  do  so,  he  did  not  wish  me  to  know  how  "  to  call  on  God ;" 
but,  said  Abraham,  I  shall  teach  you  as  much  as  I  can,  that  when 
jou  go  to  your  own  country  you  may  give  the  Moors  a  good  name, 
for  I  told  the  King  you  knew  Arabic  before  you  saw  me,  and  we 
sometimes  spake  together  in  that  language.  He  had  a  beautiful 
copy  of  the  Koran  which  he  intended  to  leave  me,  but  the  King 
had  told  him  he  must  have  it,  that  when  any  trouble  came  he  might 
hold  it  up  to  God,  and  beg  his  mercy  and  pardon :  but  he  would 
try  and  get  a  small  one  for  me. 

Saturday  22.  This  morning  a  slave  belonging  to  the  house  master 
swore  by  the  King's  head  that  he  must  kill  him  to  day.  A  great 
uproar  ensued,  while  they  put  him  in  irons,  and  they  got  out  the 
family  stools  and  sacrificed  fowls  and  sheep,  pouring  the  blood  on 
them  to  propitiate  the  wrath  of  the  King  from  the  family.  The 
King  was  then  told  of  it,  who  said  as  that  was  his  fetish  day  he 
could  not  kill  a  man  that  day,  but  to-morrow  he  would  behead  him. 

It  appears  he  had  connection  with  one  of  his  brother's  wives, 
who,  hearing  of  it,  cautioned  him  from  doing  so  again,  or  else  he 
would  tell  the  King  and  make  him  kill  him :  he  was  again  found 
with  the  woman,  and  his  brother  went  to  the  King  to  complain. 
Hearing  this,  and  fearing  the  torture,  he  swore  by  the  King  that 
he  must  shoot  him  with  eight  muskets.  The  King  on  being  told 
this,  said  he  would  put  such  small  shot  into  the  muskets  as  only  to 
wound  him,  and  then  he  should  torture  him ;  hereby  fulfilling  his 
own  law,  which  he  considers  sacred. 

Sunday  23.  About  12  o'clock  sent  for  by  the  King,  whom  I 
found  scolding  his  sister  for  disobedience  in  one  of  her  slaves. 
After  sitting  some  time  talking  on  indifferent  subjects,  the  King 
said  he  should  go  to  council,  about  what  he  was  going  to  say  to 
me.     Shortly  after  he  sent  one  of  his  sons  to  say  his  father  was 


MR.  HUTCHISON'S  DIARY.  399 

going  to  eat  and  wash,  if  I  would  be  kind  enough  to  return  home. 
I  heard  that  messengers  from  Elmina  had  arrived  the  evening 
before,  and  expected  to  hear  of  some  complaint  of  breaking  the 
law,  as  they  style  it :  although  I  could  not  reconcile  it  with  an  ob- 
servation I  had  made ;  a  pair  of  razors  I  had  presented  to  the  King 
were  invariably  sent  to  me  to  sharpen,  as  the  King  wished  to  shave 
with  them,  when  any  favourable  affair  was  to  be  talked,  and  that 
morning  they  came  as  usual. 

I  was  again  sent  for,  and  the  King  announced  in  a  formal  manner 
his  intention  of  going  in  person  to  make  war  on  Adinkara,  the 
King  of  Buntookoo,  and  wished  me  to  announce  it  to  the  Governor. 
I  therefore  wrote  a  letter  of  the  King's  dictating,  stating  this  to  the 
Governor,  and  requesting  him  to  give  on  trust  300  oz.  kegs,  pow- 
der, and  300  muskets,  and  sending  to  the  Governor  in  Chief  six 
periguins  of  gold,  and  to  the  Governor  of  Annamaboe  four  pen- 
guins, to  purchase  a  cloth  for  him,  the  handsomest  they  could  find, 
and  inviting  them  to  send  him  a  dash  and  make  the  town's  people 
do  the  same,  for  the  prosperity  of  the  war.  His  Majesty  was  very 
lavish  in  his  compliments  of  the  generosity  of  the  English,  and  their 
great  riches ;  he  then  enquired  if  I  was  willing  to  go  to  fight,  f 
replied  certainly,  if  I  could  obtain  the  Governor's  permission,  I 
should  like  it  very  much  :  he  thanked  me  very  warmly.  I  heard, 
on  my  return  to  the  house,  that  the  Dutch  General  had  sent  as  a 
present  to  the  King  60  oz.  kegs  powder,  and  the  Elmina  people  40, 
which  caused  this  stir. 

Monday  24.  Sent  for  again  to  write  the  Governor  word  that  the 
King  sent  down  30  men  to  be  clothed  as  soldiers,  if  the  Governor 
could  spare  clothes,  one  of  them  to  be  as  captain  and  one  a  Ser- 
jeant, with  a  dag.  His  Majesty  also  Avished  to  have  arrow  root. 
Port  wine,  sugar,  candles,  and  a  few  other  things  for  the  campaign. 
I  was  then  told  to  write  a  letter  to  the  Danish  Governor  in  Chief 


400  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

to  the  same  effect,  and  to  ask  him  for  payment  of  what  was  due  on  his 
note.  I  foresaw  this  would  make  an  uproar ;  and  on  the  note  being 
handed  to  me  to  know  what  was  due  on  it,  when  I  told  the  King 
that  nothing  was  on  it,  he  got  into  the  greatest  rage  I  have  yet  seen 
him  in,  with  the  captain  who  receives  the  pay.  This  man  had  been 
sent  down  to  Accra  about  three  months  ago,  to  receive  what  pay 
was  due,  Mr.  Bowdich  writing  to  the  Danish  Governor  in  Chief  to 
know,  for  the  King's  satisfaction,  Avhat  was  sent.  On  his  return, 
the  latter  stated  that  the  King's  note  was  paid  up  to  the  ensuing 
Christmas.  There  being  a  great  deficiency  between  what  was 
stated  in  the  letter,  and  what  the  captain  produced,  he  charged 
Mr.  Bowdich  with  mis-stating  what  Avas  in  the  letter ;  Quashie 
Apaintree,  the  linguist,  was  sworn  on  the  King's  fetish  to  interpret 
proper;  the  Ashantee  still  insisted,  and  to  clear  himself,  said  the 
book  was  not  paid  to  Christmas.  The  King  and  linguists  remem- 
bered this,  and  when  they  heard  that  the  note  was  actually  paid  to 
the  end  of  the  year,  every  one  tried  who  would  be  loudest  in  their 
accusations  against  him.  Apokoo,  Avho  is  his  chief,  was  loudest 
against  him,  he  said  he  had  used  him  disrespectfully,  and  never 
gave  him  any  of  the  dashes  he  received ;  besides  he  had  given  the 
lie  to  an  English  officer,  and  at  the  same  time  he  cheated  the  Kins:;  he 
therefore  left  him  to  the  mercy  of  his  Majesty.  The  King  said  he 
must  return  him  all  the  gold  back  he  had  lent  him  ;  and  as  for  the 
fort  at  Accra,  he  might  take  the  pay  when  he  pleased.  A  hat, 
certainly'  a  bad  one,  Avas  brought  in,  and  the  King  asked  me  if  I 
thought  it  Avorth  the  price  charged  for  it.  I  replied  I  was  not  a 
judge,  as  such  hats  were  not  sent  out  for  us ;  but  if  I  were,  I  must 
positively  decline  interfering  in  the  King's  affairs  Avith  his  servants. 
By  degrees  the  King  worked  himself  to  such  a  height  of  passion, 
that  throwing  his  cloth  around  him,  and  hastily  rising,  he  ordered 
the  captain's  arrest.    The  King's  sons  seized  on  him,  and  he  stood 


MR.  HUTCHISON'S  DIARY.  401 

appalled,  as  the  silver  cane  fell  from  his  hand.  I  once  thought  the 
King  would  have  committed  some  extravagance,  none  of  the  chiefs 
daring  to  rise ;  Agay  at  length  arose,  and  in  his  energetic  manner 
requested  that  his  majesty  would  recollect  I  was  present.  The 
King  ordered  his  sons  to  go  with  the  captain  to  his  house,  and 
bring  him  all  the  gold  they  found ;  he  then  withdrew,  but  I  heard 
him  storming  in  his  apartments.  Shortly  after,  Odumata's  brother 
came  to  say,  that  the  chiefs  might  thank  me,  as  were  it  not  for  my 
sake,  every  one  of  them  would  have  been  turned  out  of  the  palace 
by  the  slaves.  Agay,  who  was  the  only  one  who  followed  the 
King,  came  to  apologise  for  the  abrupt  departure  of  his  Majesty  : 
he  hoped  I  would  not  be  offended,  and  requested  I  would  go 
home  and  dine,  as  it  was  late,  and  the  King  would  send  for  me 
soon. 

Tuesday  25.  The  King  sent  for  me  to  Avrite  another  letter  to  the 
Governor,  saying  he  had  sent  down  three  pieces  of  rock  gold  as  a 
pawn  for  powder ;  they  were  the  largest  I  have  yet  seen,  one  of 
them  weighing  about  20  ounces.  I  gave  his  Majesty  a  packet  of 
letters  to  be  forwarded  to  Cape  Coast :  he  rallied  me  on  the  size  of 
it,  and  said  he  supposed  I  wrote  the  Governor  and  Mr.  Bowdich 
every  palaver  in  town. 

To-day  the  stool  of  Alphia  was  declared  in  abeyance ;  the  son 
of  the  caboceer  Premehinia  having  brought  a  complaint  against 
the  caboceer  of  Alphia,  who  is  brother  to  the  former ;  his  sable 
highness  came  on  a  beautiful  Arabian,  of  a  very  small  size ;  at  the 
sound  of  drums  and  horns  he  danced  and  went  through  various 
evolutions. 

Friday  28.  To-day  the  caboceer  of  Alphia  was  deposed,  and  his 
brother  the  caboceer  of  Premehinia  had  the  stool  attached  to  his 
other  possessions.  In  the  afternoon  whilst  I  was  out,  the  Moorish 
prince,  with  a  large  retinue,  called  to  pay  me  a  visit,  I  found  one 

3  F 


402  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

of  his  attendants  sitting  at  the  door  with  a  gold  sword,  who,  on  re- 
ceiving permission,  Avent  and  told  him  I  was  come  home ;  shortly 
after  he  came,  and  expressed  great  wonder  at  all  he  saw.  He 
said  I  had  too  many  silver  spoons,  and  modestly  requested  I 
would  give  him  one  or  two  ;  his  attendant  who  fanned  him  thought 
so  toOj  as  he  attempted  to  steal  one,  but  one  of  the  servants  hap- 
pening to  pass,  he  threw  it  under  the  table.  I  wished  him  to  sell 
me  his  horse,  but  he  said  he  was  too  great  a  man  to  walk  home, 
and  the  ground  hurt  his  feet. 

Sunday  30.  The  King  paid  me  a  long  visit,  he  heard,  he  said, 
that  my  horse  had  died,  and  had  come  to  see  me  least  I  should 
think  he  forgot  me,  but  he  had  so  much  fetish  to  make,  and  so 
many  palavers  to  settle,  that  he  had  little  time.  The  conversation 
then  turned  on  the  travels  of  Englishmen,  and  the  white  men 
drowned  in  the  Quolla  (Niger.)  I  explained  to  his  Majesty  the 
objects  of  the  expeditions  sent  from  England  to  the  interior  of 
Africa,  and  expressed  how  anxious  I  was  to  get  Mr.  Park's  books 
and  papers  for  the  King  of  England  ;  his  Majesty  promised  to  aid 
me  in  doing  so,  and  before  he  went  away,  desired  me  to  point  out 
to  him  what  I  conceived  the  proper  method. 

The  King  then  began  to  talk  about  my  living  with  him,  and  if  I 
liked  to  do  so ;  he  said  I  was  like  a  king,  and  wished  his  people  to 
treat  me  with  respect,  and  every  one  run  to  see  me  when  I  went 
out,  as  they  run  to  see  him.  I  said  that  some  of  his  people  wished 
to  accuse  me  of  treason  for  putting  buckles  in  my  shoes  at  the 
Adai  custom.  The  King  said  that  none  dared  do  so,  but  those 
whom  he  ordered,  any  other  would  have  their  heads  cut  off:  but  I 
Avas  different,  and  he  knew  EngUshmen  did  what  was  proper.  His 
majesty  took  his  leave  Avith  many  expressions  of  personal  attention, 
which,  Avhether  they  Avere  sincere  or  not,  Avere  at  least  to  be 
received  Avith  politeness. 


MR.  HUTCHISON'S  DIARY.  403 

Monday,  December  ] .  One  of  the  King's  nephews  came  to  see 
me,  but  was  terribly  afraid  to  pass  the  man  in  irons  who  swore  on 
the  King,  least  he  should  swear  that  when  the  King  killed  him,  he 
must  also  kill  his  nephew,  which  would  cost  a  deal  of  gold ;  for 
such  is  the  sacredness  of  the  law,  that  in  that  case  the  King  must 
do  it.  I  had  a  key  of  a  door  where  1  could  privately  let  him  out, 
without  passing  through  the  courts  of  the  house,  by  which  he  gladly 
made  his  escape.  This  man  has  been  no  small  annoyance,  as  no 
person  of  rank  will  venture  to  call  on  me,  least  they  should  be 
brought  into  trouble  by  his  swearing  on  their  heads. 

Tuesday  2.  The  King  to-day  made  a  present  of  iO  periguins  of 
gold  to  the  Moors  in  town  for  their  services,  and  they  were  to 
divide  it  themselves.  This  created  no  small  altercation  among 
them  ;  those  belonging  to  the  town  wished  to  keep  it  all,  and  not 
give  the  Shereef  Abraham  any,  who  came  from  the  banks  of  the 
Niger ;  as  the  King  had  that  morning  told  him  he  wished  him  to 
accompany  him  to  the  war,  he  told  them  it  was  of  no  consequence, 
as  he  should  not  accompany  the  King  unless  he  was  looked  on  with 
the  same  degree  of  rank  as  Baba,  as,  indeed,  he  was  superior  from 
his  knowledge,  and  belonging  to  Mahomet's  family.  On  this  they 
gave  him  three  periguins,  the  same  that  Baba  had  :  all  were  then 
pleased  with  their  portion  except  one,  called  Aboo,  who  only  had 
10  ackies ;  he  consoled  himself  by  making  the  usual  exclamation, 
*'  God  is  great !  he  never  dies,  he  never  sleeps,"  and  said  he  left 
the  palaver  in  his  hands. 

Thursday  4.  Apokoo  paid  me  a  visit  to  thank  me  for  some 
medicine  I  had  given  him,  being  sick  after  his  great  custom  ;  he 
enquired  if  I  heard  that  Fantee  messengers  were  come  to  this 
place,  I  said  no,  but  I  expected  them  soon  to  take  the  King's 
fetish,  as  he  wished  them  to  do  so,  previous  to  his  going  to  war ; 
he  then  told  me  that  the  King  heard  there  were  some  on  the  path, 


404  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

and  could  not  think  what  their  message  was  ;  I  told  him  they  must 
either  be  those  the  Governor  was  sending  up,  or  Fantees  with  the 
King's  tribute ;  on  his  going  away,  he  requested  I  would  let  him 
out  by  the  door  1  had  the  ke}^  of,  as  he  also  was  afraid  of  the 
man  in  irons  swearing  on  his  life,  and  was  glad  he  could  avoid 
passing  him. 

Friday  5.  This  was  the  coldest  morning  I  have  felt  since  I  came 
to  Africa,  being  scarcely  able  to  take  breakfast,  I  was  so  chilly ;  the 
thermometer  stood  at  65°. 

I  was  desired  to  write  a  letter  to  General  Daendels,  telling  him 
the  King  had  lost  his  notes  for  the  Dutch  forts,  and  requesting 
him  to  give  new  ones  to  Akimpon.  The  King's  father  had  con- 
quered the  Akim  chief,  who  held  a  note  for  Dutch  Accra ;  he  also 
conquered  the  King  of  Adinkara,  who  had  the  Elmina  note,  both 
of  Avhich  were  given  up  to  him ;  he  would  not  take  them  both  in 
one  note  as  the  General  wished,  but  he  must  have  one  payable  at 
Elmina  and  one  at  Accra.  When  the  King  weighed  out  the  gold 
for  his  messengers  expences,  he  weighed  10  ackies  for  me,  which 
I  hoped  his  Majesty  would  take  back,  as  I  did  not  wish  for  them, 
and  requested  he  would  not  think  I  wished  payment  for  writing  a 
letter  for  him.  My  scruples  were  laughed  at  by  them  all,  and  the 
King  said  "  that  white  men  were  very  singular,  as  they  gave  gold 
or  a  good  dash  to  any  one  who  did  any  thing  for  them,  yet  they 
would  not  take  any :  he  wished  to  do  something  like  white  men, 
and  when  any  one  did  any  thing  for  him  he  gave  them  something, 
and  he  wished  me  to  take  this  to  shew  his  good  will."  Odumata, 
who  is  the  greediest  man  in  Coomassie  for  gold,  whispered,  if  I  did 
not  like  it,  I  might  send  it  to  him  when  I  got  home.  I  did  not 
exactly  understand  him,  or  I  would  have  offered  it  to  him  then  with 
pleasure,  to  expose  his  avarice. 

'J'he  captain  who  was  arrested  last  week  for  peculation  on  Danish 


MR.  HUTCHISON'S  DIARY.  405 

Accra,  appeared  in  his  place  to  clay;  he  had  promised  Amanquatea 
and  Quatchie  Quophie,  the  two  chief  captains,  a  large  present  if 
they  would  settle  the  affair  for  him,  which  they  did,  and  he  received 
the  letters  to  proceed  to  the  fort  as  usual. 

Apokoo  having  told  the  King  of  the  inconvenience  arising  to 
any  chief  coming  to  me,  from  the  culprit  in  irons  being  in  the  way, 
he  was  removed  to  a  private  part  of  Apokoo's  house,  where  he 
could  annoy  no  one,  till  the  Adai  custom,  when  he  is  to  be 
beheaded,  as  the  affair  cannot  be  settled  without. 

Sunday  7.  Several  of  the  Moorish  caboceers  came  to  take  leave, 
as  they  were  going  to-morrow  to  their  own  country  previous  to  the 
war,  and  were  to  meet  the  King  on  the  road  when  he  went,  and 
consequently  would  not  see  me  again  for  some  time ;  on  my  enquir- 
ing how  long  the.  King  was  to  be  absent,  they  replied,  God  had 
told  them  seven  months  would  finish  the  war ;  they  enquired  if  I 
should  like  to  see  them  at  Cape  Coast,  as  they  should  come  and 
see  me,  to  which  I  said  I  should.  After  drinking  coffee,  &c.  they 
took  a  hurried  leave,  as  one  of  the  King's  people  came  to  tell  me 
one  of  his  Majesty's  daughters  was  dead,  and  shortly  after,  constant 
discharges  of  musketry  announced  the  custom.  The  King  in  the 
afternoon  came  to  the  market  place  close  to  the  house,  to  make 
custom  with  his  chiefs.  I  understood  that  human  sacrifices  were 
to  be  offered,  and  walked  out  to  avoid  the  uproar. 

On  my  way  I  paid  a  visit  to  Baba,  who  was  performing  ablu- 
tion ;  he  said  he  was  going  to  prayer,  but  would  soon  have  done, 
I  told  him  I  would  sit  down  till  he  had  finished.  Cow  hides  were 
spread  in  rows  for  the  worshippers,  in  the  front  was  a  large  hide 
for  Baba.  All  having  taken  off  their  sandals  and  prostrated  them- 
selves with  their  faces  to  the  east  (to  Mecca,)  the  service  began  by 
one  of  them  chaunting  the  usual  call  to  prayer ;  the  chorus  of 
Allahoo  Akabei; !  (God  is  great)  was  well  performed  by  the  others. 


406  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

There  was  something  solemn  and  affecting  in  it,  contrasted  with 
the  heavy  discharges  of  musketry  and  shouts  of  the  populace  in 
the  distance,  which  proclaimed  the  bloody  sacrifice  was  begun, 
while  the  vultures  and  crows  wheeled  in  mazy  circles  expecting 
their  usual  share  of  the  banquet,  and  the  sun  shot  his  last  gleams 
through  the  heavy  fogs  that  encircled  the  town. 

As  I  went  home  I  passed  the  headless  trunks  of  two  female 
slaves,  laying  neglected  and  exposed  in  the  market  place,  that  had 
been  sacrificed,  one  by  the  King  and  one  by  the  deceased's  family. 
The  vultures  were  revelling  undisturbed  amidst  the  blood. 

I  happened  to-day  to  throw  down  a  tumbler  of  wine  and  water 
with  my  foot,  having  placed  it  on  the  ground,  while  the  Moorish 
Shereef  was  with  me ;  he  bent  his  head  to  Mecca,  pronouncing 
"  God  is  great ! "  and  told  me  it  was  my  good  angel  who  had  done 
so,  for  who  n)ight  tell  but  there  was  poison  in  the  cup  to  destroy 
me?  he  said  man  had  always  two  angels  attending  him,  one  on  his 
right  hand  as  his  good  angel,  and  one  on  his  left  as  his  evil  one ; 
whatever  good  he  did  was  prompted  by  the  former,  and  whatever 
ill  by  the  latter  one.  I  have  never  found  them  without  a  reason 
for  every  thing,  or  a  name,  except  to  ^the  mother  of  Moses,  whom 
they  say  nobody  knows  on  earth  ;  the  Shereef  gravely  enquired  if 
I  knew  the  name  of  Aboobaker's  father,  I  assured  him  I  did  not; 
he  told  me  many  of  the  Moors  could  not  tell,  but  as  he  was  of 
Mahomet's  family  he  knew  more  things,  and  told  me  it  was 
Kahdbata. 

I  heard  from  the  Sarem  Moors  that  they  fight  with  bows  and 
arrows  steeped  in  deadly  poison,  the  least  scratch  of  which  is 
instant  death.  They  gather  scorpions  tails,  snakes  heads,  and  the 
poisonous  parts  of  any  reptile  that  affects  man ;  this,  with  several 
vegetable  substances  which  they  would  not  name,  are  put  in  a  pot, 
and  set  over  the  fire  at  sun  rise ;  they  boil  it  all  day  and  must  not  eat 


MR.  HUTCHISON'S  DIARY.  407 

or  drink,  but  stir  it  about  repeating  incantations,  and  shaiiing  a 
pair  of  iron  castanets,  without  which,  the  charm  would  be  incom- 
plete. T  saw  an  old  hag  at  this  work  on  the  Bantama  road,  who 
would  not  answer  my  question  as  to  what  she  was  doing,  but  made 
many  wry  faces,  and  squint  looks,  for  me  to  be  gone  and  not  spoil 
her  work,  and  while  I  stood,  she  stirred,  and  muttered,  and  clat- 
tered the  castanets  with  greater  fury. 

My  attention  being  anxiously  turned  towards  information  con- 
cerning the  Niger  and  its  course,  all  enquiries  end  in  making 
the  Nile  its  continuation.  An  old  Moor  from  Jenne  told  me, 
unasked,  that  while  he  was  at  Askanderee  (Alexandria)  twenty- 
six  years  ago  he  saw  a  fight  at  the  mouth  of  the  Nile  between 
ships,  and  one  of  them  was  blown  up  in  the  air  with  a  terrible  ex- 
plosion. This  must  have  been  the  battle  fought  by  Lord  Nelson, 
although  there  is  a  mistake  in  the  date  of  seven  years ;  he  surely 
could  not  invent  such  a  story.  He  states  also,  that  returning  to 
Masser  (Grand  Cairo)  the  European  armies  advanced  to  that 
place;  the  first  army  took  every  thing  they  wanted  and  would  not 
pay :  but  when  the  second  European  and  Turkish  army  got  pos- 
session of  it,  they  paid  for  whatever  they  wanted.  All  the  Moors 
were  ordered  to  retire  to  one  quarter  of  the  city,  and  not  allowed 
to  mix  with  the  soldiers ;  this  agrees  with  Sir  Robert  Wilson's  ac- 
count of  the  Egyptian  campaign.  I  shewed  him  a  seal  I  have,  of 
Pompey's  pillar,  which  he  said  he  knew ;  he  had  travelled  from 
Jenne  to  Masser  on  a  joma  (camel)  and  drew  me  a  map  of  the 
QuoUa  and  Nile  from  its  source  to  its  emptying  itself  into  the  sea 
at  Alexandria.  There  is  one  thing  that  disagrees  with  Mr.  Park's 
account,  they  call  the  Niger  Quolla  at  Jenne,  Sansanding,  &c. 
and  describe  the  JoUiba  as  faUing  into  the  Quolla  to  the  east  of 
Timbuctoo.     When  I  told  them  of  the  conjectures  that  the  great 


408  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

river  of  Africa  emptied  itself  into  a  large  lake,  they  laughed 
at  such  an  idea,  and  reasoned  so  as  to  put  wiser  heads  to  the  blush, 
"  God,"  say  they,  "  made  all  rivers  to  run  to  the  sea,  you  say  that 
small  rivers  go  there:  the  Quolla  is  the  largest  river  in  the  world, 
and  why  should  it  not  go  there  also?  Was  it  to  lose  itself  in  the 
lake,  where  could  the  waters  go  to  V  They  describe  the  Quolla  as 
about  five  miles  in  breadth,  and  having  a  very  rocky  channel,  the 
banks  on  both  sides  very  high  and  rugged;  in  many  places,  canoes 
often  take  a  day  to  pass  a  short  distance,  from  the  dangerous  whirlr 
pools,  and  sudden  squalls:  at  other  places,  the  stream  runs  with 
great  rapidity. 

They  think  the  Mediterranean  sea  to  be  circular,  without  mixing 
with  the  ocean ;  seven  rivers  from  Africa  turn  their  course  to  it, 
but  only  two  reach  the  shores,  of  which  the  Nile  is  one.  The  rush 
of  the  waters  of  the  Nile,  when  they  meet  the  sea  is  so  great,  that 
the  waves  are  driven  into  the  air  with  great  force,  and  retire  like 
waves  against  a  rock.  They  call  the  Mediterranean  sea  Bahare 
Mall.  The  Red  sea,  say  they,  assumes  various  colours  at  different 
periods,  from  seven  streams  pouring  their  course  into  it,  red, 
blue,  yellow,  &c.  Hence  they  call  it  Majumaal  Bahare,  or  the 
confluence  of  streams.  They  are  very  fond  of  mystical  numbers, 
and  often  quote  seven.  The  lake  Caudie  they  call  Bahare  Nohoo,  or 
the  water  of  Noah,  from  the  tradition  that  the  deluge  broke  out 
from  thence.  They  describe  it  as  encompassed  with  rocks,  within 
which  is  a  bed  of  sand,  and  then  the  water.  This  we  may  allow 
to  be  a  little  fanciful,  as  I  have  seen  a  map  of  the  earth  drawn  by 
Baba,  where  the  world  is  supposed  to  be  round,  and  encompassed 
with  a  rocky  girdle,  the  sea  is  supposed  to  flow  between  this  and 
the  earth,  which  is  placed  in  the  centre.  They  are  not  singular  in 
this  idea  ;  as  all  rude  nations  form  the  same  notions  of  the  globe  : 


MR.  HUTCHISON'S  DIARY.  409 

but  though  we  reject,  with  reason,  their  foolish  notions  of  many 
things,  it  would  he  no  great  sign  of  wisdom  to  refuse  every  infor- 
mation from  them. 

Man  is  a  reasoning  animal,  and  enquires  into  the  nature  of 
things  in  a  rude,  as  well  as  in  a  civilised  slate ;  and  if  he  cannot 
give  a  just,  will  at  least  give  a  plausible  reason  for  many  things.  ' 

The  Moors  say  "  That  the  noise  people  hear,  when  they 
stop  their  ears  with  their  hands,  is  the  roHing  of  the  waters  of 
libation  in  paradise,  where  Mahomet  purifies  all  those  he  saves 
from  hell,  before  they  enter  into  the  state  of  the  blessed.  It  is  for 
this  reason  they  perform  ablution  before  they  pray  ;  the  fire  burn- 
ing other  parts  of  their  bodies,  while  their  face,  hands,  feet,  &c. 
remained  untouched,  hence  Mahomet  when  he  looks  for  them, 
knows  them  from  Jews,  Christians,  &c.  They  have  also  a  sentence 
written  on  their  foreheads,  "  Hooalie  Jahanamoo  naalaka  raboo 
baskafaatee  Mahomada  roosoola  lahee  sallee  allahoo  alahe  wasa- 
lame." 

Inoculation  for  the  small  pox  is  practised  in  the  Moorish 
countries ;  they  take  the  matter,  and  puncture  the  patient  in 
seven  places,  both  on  the  arms  and  legs.  The  sickness  continues 
but  a  few  days,  and  rarely  any  person  dies  of  it.  It  is  also  done 
in  Ashantee.     Seven  is  their  mystical  number, 

Monday,  December  8.  To  day  the  King  killed  a  man  on  account 
of  his  daughter  who  died  yesterday,  and  to  be  out  of  the  way,  I 
called  on  Odumata,  whom  I  found  well  charged  with  palm  wine: 
his  usual  discourse  of  the  greatness  of  the  King  and  the  manner  of 
the  Ashantees  fighting  took  up  his  time :  he  said  that  when  white 
men  wished  to  fight,  they  sent  a  book  to  the  other  party,  telling 
them  they  would  meet  them  on  such  a  day,  but  the  Ashantees 
took  their  enemies  by  surprise,  which  shortened  their  wars.  I  told 
him  he  had  repeated  the  same  story  about  fifty  times  in  two  months, 

3  G 


410  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

and  wished  to  know  if  the  EngHsh  did  so  at  Annamaboe,  where 
fifteen  white  men  killed  thousands  of  Ashantees ;  this  put  him 
on  the  fidget,  as  J  knew  it  would,  and  he  said  that  it  was  on 
him  the  English  fired  first,  and  he  fought  them  without  the  King's 
leave,  who  was  angry  when  he  heard  that  they  had  returned  the 
fire  of  the  fort;  I  told  him  it  was  a  fine  excuse  to  cover  their  defeat. 
He  enquired  if  I  thought  they  could  not  have  taken  the  fort  ?  I 
told  him  if  they  could  have  done  it  they  would.  He  said,  if  the 
King  says  we  must  do  any  thing,  we  must  do  it.  I  asked  him, 
if  the  King  told  them  to  pull  down  the  moon,  if  they  could  do  it? 
He  then  got  up  from  his  chair  and  began  to  manoeuvre  how  he 
and  Apokoo  were  to  have  made  a  breach  in  Annamaboe  fort,  to 
the  no  small  enjoyment  of  several  of  his  wives,  captains,  and  slaves, 
who  were  present ;  they  were  to  have  burned  the  gates,  and  with 
axes  to  have  cut  through  the  walls.  He  said  they  had  Dutch  and 
Danish  flags,  which  they  had  taken  from  forts ;  why,  I  enquired, 
did  they  not  show  the  English  trophies  ?  They  had  none,  he  said  : 
and  the  King  had  told  them,  that  were  he  to  kill  white  men  from 
England,  he  might  as  well  kill  all  the  cocks  in  the  kingdom  ;  the 
one  told  the  hour,  and  when  to  rise  in  the  morning ;  the  other 
brought  them  good  things  from  England,  and  learned  them  sense; 
besides,  if  any  of  their  slaves  did  ill,  the}'  told  them  they  would 
sell  them  to  the  whites,  which  made  them  better.  1  told  him  black 
men  had  the  eyes  of  a  thief,  the  paws  of  a  tiger,  and  the  belly  of 
a  hog,  for  they  were  never  satisfied  ;  he  said  I  was  right,  for  they 
■were  now  going  to  war,  and  would  take  whatever  they  could  find  ; 
he  thought  30,000  Ashantees  Avould  be  killed,  but  that  was  nothing. 
He  then  locked  up  his  wives  because  I  put  evil  in  their  heads,  by 
saying  that  Englishmen  allowed  every  one  a  husband.  I  then  took 
my  leave. 


MR.  HUTCHISON'S  DIARY,  411 

Monday  15.  Baba,  the  chief  of  the  Moors,  having  told  nie  that 
a  Moor  was  going  to  Jenne,  I  took  the  opportunity  of  writing  a 
letter  to  two  Europeans  who  reside  there,  and,  I  suppose,  belonged 
to  Mungo  Park's  expedition,  seven  soldiers  being  unaccounted 
for,  who  were  in  good  health  when  they  were  separated  from  Mr. 
Park.  There  are  also  two  white  men  at  Timbuctoo,  who  have 
been  there  several  years.  The  Moors  are  confident  that  the  letter 
will  reach  them,  which  is  much  to  be  desired,  as  some  informa- 
tion may  be  obtained  of  that  celebrated  traveller.  Baba  came, 
and  the  old  Moor  with  him,  to  whom  I  delivered  the  letter;  he 
received  it  from  Baba  with  much  ceremony,  and  to  induce  him  to 
forward  an  answer,  I  promised  him  a  suitable  reward*.  The  whole 
of  the  Moors  came  in  a  body  with  drums,  muskets,  horns,  and  all 
the  attendant  ponip  of  chiefs;  they  had  just  taken  leave  of  the 
King,  and  came  to  do  the  same  to  me.     Having  remained  about 

*  "  Mr.  Wm.  Hutchison,  British  Resident  at  Coomassie,  the  capital  of  Ashantee,  hear- 
ing there  are  two  Europeans  at  Jenne,  takes  the  opportunity  of  a  Moor  returning  to 
that  place,  to  write  to  them.  It  is  earnestly  requested,  that  some  information  will  be 
sent  to  Cape  Coast  Castle,  whether  or  not,  those,  to  whom  this  is  addressed,  belonged 
to  the  expedition  of  Captain  Mungo  Park,  or  by  what  means  they  reached  Jenne.  As 
no  certain  accounts  have  reached  England  of  the  fate  of  that  gentleman  and  his  compa- 
nions, any  particulars  will  be  interesting;  also,  whether  or  not  the  Niger  is  the  river 
known  here  by  the  name  of  QuoUa,  Joliba,  or  any  other  appellation  unknown  in  Europe. 
Also,  its  course,  and  the  opinions  among  the  natives  as  to  its  termination,  with  the 
names  of  any  towns  or  countries  it  may  run  through.  It  is  also  reported  that  there  are 
two  white  men  at  Timbuctoo :  should  it  be  possible  to  render  any  assistance  to  either,  it 
will  be  done  from  Cape  Coast  Castle  on  accounts  being  received  of  the  certainty  of  their 
situation ;  and  the  means  which  may  be  found  to  make  the  Europeans  on  the  Quolla  re- 
visit their  native  country :  in  the  mean  time,  any  information  will  be  anxiously  ex- 
pected, as  to  the  fate  of  their  companions;  and  whether  they  have  heard  of  an  English 
expedition,  lately  arrived  at  the  Niger.  Two  notices  in  EngUsh  and  Arabic  accompany 
this,  offering  a  reward  for  information. 

December  9th, 


412  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

half  an  hour,  and  drank  some  wine,  they  set  out  for  their  journey 
with  noisy  clamour. 

Sunday  21.  Apokoo  called  and  told  me  he  was  going  to  morrow, 
with  the  King,  to  the  camp,  on  the  Barramang  path,  to  make 
fetish,  and  would  return  on  Wednesday  :  he  seemed  to  expect 
that  I  would  say  I  would  go  also  ;  but  as  the  King  had  not  sent 
to  me,  I  did  not  express  any  wish.  A  boy  brought  some  milk 
covered  up,  and  he  lifted  the  lid  to  look  what  it  was,  some  of  it 
touched  his  fingers,  and  he  sent  for  water,  herbs,  and  different 
things  to  purify  his  fingers ;  he  said  he  would  give  me  a  present 
if  I  would  give  over  drinking  milk  :  I  told  him  if  he  sent  me  an 
ounce  of  gold  daily,  I  would  not  do  it;  he  cursed  the  milk,  and 
the  boy  for  bringing  it.  Thus  many  of  them  are  so  particular, 
they  will  not  stay  where  eggs  are,  another  shuns  a  fowl,  one  hates 
beef,  and  many  mutter  a  charm  if  they  meet  a  pig.  The  Moorish 
Shereef  discovered  a  piece  of  pork  one  day  in  the  boy's  room,  and 
made  such  a  noise,  that  I  thought  one  had  struck  him,  nor  would 
he  cease  till  I  ordered  it  away. 

Monday  22.  The  King,  and  almost  all  the  captains,  set  out 
early  this  morning,  with  great  bustle  for  the  camp,  many  sent  their 
compliments  previous  to  going. 

Wednesday  24.  The  King  and  all  the  people  returned  in  the 
evening,  and  went  to  the  upper  market  place;  where  the  King 
seeing  me  at  the  door,  ordered  them  to  pass  down  the  street  to  the 
palace,  the  chiefs  all  saluting  as  they  passed.  The  King,  who  was 
the  only  one  that  did  not  walk,  made  his  people  halt,  and  held  out 
his  hand  to  me,  which  I  took,  and  bade  him  welcome  to  his 
capital ;  he  enquired  if  I  was  well,  and  after  he  passed,  he  looked 
round  with  a  smile  and  shook  his  finger  at  me :  I  suppose  because 
I  did  not  follow  him  to  the  camp.  His  Majesty  afterwards  sent 
his  compliments,  as  did  several  of  the  chiefs.  ''*' 


MR.  HUTCHISON'S  DIARY.  413 

Thursday  25.  This  being  Christinas  day,  I  displayed  the  flag, 
and  paid  every  attention  to  it  that  I  possibly  could  ;  many  of  the 
chiefs  hearing  of  it,  sent  their  compUments,  expecting  a  present, 
but  of  course  were  disappointed. 

Friday  24.  Baba  called,  and  began  an  oration  about  Sam  Brue, 
hinting  that  he  should  like  if  I  could  get  Brue,  the  slave  trader,  back 
to  Cape  Coast.  He  was  my  good  friend,  I  was  his  friend,  the 
Governor  was  my  friend,  Brue  was  his  friend,  and  a  long  genea- 
logy fit  to  puzzle  a  Scottish  or  Welch  family  herald.  I  told  him 
no  person  must  interfere  in  such  affairs.  He  had  that  morning  re- 
ceived from  Brue,  powder,  guns,  and  cloth  for  slaves  he  had  sent 
down  ;  he  brought  me  a  piece  of  the  cloth  to  shew  me,  it  was  very 
coarse  with  large  red  figures  on  it.  I  told  him  when  he  washed  it, 
he  would  need  to  take  his  staff  and  put  on  his  sandals  to  hunt  after 
the  colours  ;  he  told  me  he  had  found  that  out ;  for  he  had  Avashed 
a  piece,  and  he  could  not  tell  what  colour  it  was.  He  then  began  a 
dissertation  on  the  good  the  slave  trade  did  them,  and  what  changes 
he  had  seen  since  he  came  here;  he  thought  God  intended  to 
change  the  power  of  white  men,  and  give  it  to  the  blacks  and 
Moors.  I  told  him  he  was  going  to  make  Mahomet  a  har,  as  the 
Alkoran  told  them  that  the  whites  were  to  have  sovereign  dominion 
to  the  end,  because  of  Noah's  sons'  behaviour  to  him  when  drunk; 
and  if  God  was  incHned  to  hide  his  face  from  white  men,  because 
of  any  ill  ihey  did,  I  did  not  think  he  would  transfer  it  to  Africans 
for  any  good  they  had  done ;  he  said  I  was  right,  and  when  they 
thought  wrong  the  Christians  could  put  them  right.  Seeing  a 
Prayer  Book  on  the  table,  he  enquired  if  that  was  "  Lingeel,"  the 
name  they  give  the  New  Testament ;  I  replied  it  was  the  form  of 
worshipping  God  in  English  Churches ;  he  wished  me  to  read  a 
little  of  it  to  him,  as  he  had  heard  that  white  men  prayed  to  God 
so — and  muttered  in  a  form,  it  must  be  allowed,  too  often  resorted 


414  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

to  by  lazy  clergymen.  They  conceive  to  worship  God  in  any  other 
way  than  chaunting  or  singing  is  absurd.  1  have  had  more  than 
once  to  sing  (if  I  may  presume  to  call  it  so)  from  the  psalms  of 
David,  and  chaunt  the  responses  of  the  service,  to  convince  them 
that  there  is  something  more  than  mere  muttering  in  prayer,  were 
it  properly  performed,  besides  describing  the  organ  used  in  churches 
to  assist  the  harmony.  They  have  often  asked  me  about  the  high 
priest  at  Rome,  and  whether  or  not  we  had  any  thing  shaped  oiit 
that  we  called  god.  I  told  them  the  English  abhorred  all  represen- 
tations of  the  Eternal,  andthat  nothing  was  adequate  to  represent 
him.  They  are  very  tenacious  on  this  point,  and  as  scrupulous  as 
any  Protestant  may  wish,  conceiving  it  an  inexcusable  crime  to 
have  any  thing  of  the  kind.  They  have  many  times  enquired  if  we 
offer  any  sacrifice  to  God.  I  told  them  that  our  Scriptures  do  not 
allow  the  sliedding  of  blood  of  any  kind ;  the  last  great  expiation 
of  the  Christians  being  performed  by  Jesus  when  he  died  on  the 
cross,  in  commemoration  of  which,  the  offering  of  bread  and  wine 
formed  the  sacrifice.  Neither  did  we  pour  out  libations*  before 
drinking,  because  any  thing  poured  forth  before  drinking,  or 
victuals  set  apart  before  eating,  is  an  offering  to  devils. 

The  Shereef  Abraham  coming  in  with  one  or  two  more,  I  en- 
quired about  Solomon's  Al  Genii,  and  whether  or  not  they  knew 
any  thing  of  free  masonry.  I  had  questioned  them  several  times 
before,  and  knew  none  of  them  were  free  masons  ;  they  now  told 
me  that  there  was  such  a  sect  in  Arabia,  and  conceived  them  to  be 
magicians,  as  they  controlled  the  spirits  of  air.  They  were  much 
astonished  to  hear  that  I  was  one,  and  eagerly  enquired  if  I  knew 
about  Solomon's  seal,  the  building  of  the  temple,  and  other  matters, 
which  universal  belief  endows  free  masons  with, — matters,  I  told 

*  I  have  observed  some  of  the  INIoors  who  have  been  a  long  time  in  Ashantee  pour 
forth  a  little  of  any  thing  before  drinking.  It  may  be  remarked,  that  all  the  worshippers 
of  the  fetish  do  this,  and  also  set  apart  some  of  their  victuals  before  they  eat. 


MR.  HUTCHISON'S  DIARY.  416 

them,  1  might  not  speak  of.  They  told  me  they  knew  we  kept 
some  of  our  genii  on  a  floating  island  in  the  sea ;  if  any  ships  came 
near  it,  the  genii  were  instructed  to  laugh  at  them,  and  the  island 
disappeared  ;  with  other  such  stories.  One  of  the  boys  told  them 
I  had  a  stuff  (phosphorus)  which  they  supposed  gave  me  such 
power ;  they  wished  to  see  it,  and  laughed  at  first  at  the  idea  of 
any  thing  in  water  producing  fire,  or  that  I  could  confine  that  ele- 
ment and  dare  to  keep  it  in  a  trunk ;  I  put  it  to  the  proof,  by 
burning  a  piece  of  cloth,  paper,  and  mat,  and  told  them  if  they 
were  not  satisfied  they  might  have  some  on  their  skins,  but  they 
did  not  choose  it,  and  called  out  in  wonder,  "  Houa  Kahina  iakul 
naroo  malekaneran,"  "  he  is  a  magician  and  eats  fire,  he  is  the  King 
of  fire;"  be  it  remembered  that  this  last  appellation  is  peculiar  to 
the  devil.  The  Shereef  after  thinking  some  time,  enquired  if  that 
stuff  was  not  made  from  the  bones  of  genii  ?  I  told  him  bones  were 
in  the  composition.  He  wished  to  know  if  we  killed  genii  and 
took  their  bones,  I  told  him  blood  was  never  shed  in  England  but 
for  great  crimes  ;  true,  he  said,  but  none  could  see  its  do  so.  I  told 
him  there  was  an  eye  that  never  sleeps,  at  which  he  bent  his  head, 
pronouncing  "  God  is  great.'"  The  Moors  then  held  a  conversa- 
tion in  Arabic,  by  which  they  settled  that  I  must  be  in  the  secrets 
of  Solomon,  and  the  Shereef  Abraham  related  one  of  the  Arabian 
tales,  by  which  Balkes  or  Bilkis,  Queen  of  Sheba,  is  made  out  to 
be  the  child  carried  away  by  the  dog  in  one  of  the  stories  of  that 
work.  Balkis,  according  to  them,  adored  the  sun,  and  Solomon 
made  her  turn  and  worship  God  ;  he  commanded  the  genii  to 
transport  her  palace  from  her  own  country  to  Jerusalem,  and  the 
three  palaces  he  built  for  her  in  Arabia  Felix  had  gold  mixed  with 
the  mortar  with  which  they  were  formed.  They  Avished  to  know  if 
I  could  move  a  house?  I  told  them,  such  was  the  mystery  attached 
to  our  concerns,  that  it  was  difficult  to  answer  them ;  any  thing 


416  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. '^ 

not  concerned  with  masonry,  I  might  answer;  this,  ihey  said,  was 
what  the  people  in  their  country  said.  Abraham  said  he  was  sure 
the  Arabian  magicians  made  use  of  bones  from  genii  to  make  fire 
and  control  ihem.  It  would  be  a  curious  circumstance  to  know 
that  phosphorus,  and  inoculation,  existed  in  Arabia  in  the  days  of 
its  splendour,  and  continue  now;  as  they  are  considered  as  two  of 
the  most  eminent  among  modern  European  discoveries.  After  they 
were  gone,  I  called  on  Odumata,  whom  I  found  all  talk  as  usual. 
He  said  he  knew  I  wished  to  take  some  of  the  King's  sons  to  Cape 
Coast  for  education,  but  the  captains  had  represented  to  his  Ma- 
jesty, that  they  did  not  wish  it.  If  the  King  wanted  gold,  and 
they  had  it,  they  would  give  it  him  ;  and  were  always  ready  when 
he  called  them,  to  receive  his  foot  on  their  necks,  and  swear  to  do 
whatever  he  wished  them,  or  never  to  return.  The  reason  he 
gave,  was,  that  they  were  afraid  of  being  discovered  when  they 
cheated  the  King,  which  they  made  no  secret  of  avowing,  and 
having  their  heads  cut  off.  I  told  him  he  did  not  like  a  white  man  to 
live  here  then  ;  yes,  he  said,  they  all  liked  that;  but  he  was  suffi- 
cient to  settle  all  palavers  between  the  King  and  the  English, 
without  any  of  the  King's  people  knowing  English.  He  began  to 
boast  of  the  many  wives  and  children  he  had,  more  than  English- 
men. I  told  him  there  was  a  possibility  of  an  Englishman  know- 
ing his  father;  but  no  black  man  could  tell  his;  they  were  all 
slaves,  and  rendered  incapable  of  inheriting  their  father's  property; 
none  of  his  children  need  to  thank  him,  he  neither  could  give  them 
any  thing  while  alive,  nor  leave  them  any  thing  when  dead,  and 
many  of  them  kept  wives,  while  their  slaves  enjoyed  them.  He 
said  I  spoke  very  true,  but  that  I  could  not  show  keys  with 
him ;  he  produced  two  large  bunches,  and  I  offered  him  an  ounce 
of  gold  if  he  would  shew  me  a  lock  for  each  key  ;  he  evaded  this: 
I  took  them  in  my  hand,  and   found  many  of  them  broken,  and 


MR.  HUTCHISON'S  DIARY.  417 

various  articles  of  lead  and  iron  to  make  the  bunches  large  ;  his 
people,  and  some  chiefs  that  were  with  him,  enjoyed  his  per- 
plexity, if  I  might  judge  from  their  chuckling. 

Several  of  the  King's  brother's  slaves  appeared  in  pursuit  of  two 
of  their  fellows,  flogging  them  with  whips ;  one  of  the  culprits 
bounding  over  every  obstacle,  threw  himself  at  Odumata's  feet, 
which  saved  him  from  their  flogging ;  the  man  who  had  charge  of 
him  appeared,  and  in  a  long  and  animated  harangue,  with  many 
gestures,  stated  the  trouble  he  had  had  from  the  runaway,  and  con- 
cluded by  swearing,  the  man  must  be  given  up  to  him  in  the  morn- 
ing to  go  and  work.  It  is  customary  for  slaves,  when  they  fall 
under  their  master's  displeasure,  to  take  shelter  in  some  other 
chief's  house,  who  tries  to  get  them  excused. 

Saturday  27-  The  King  sent  for  me,  to  give  me  letters  which 
had  arrived  ;  and  on  my  opening  them,  two  small  packages  of  gold 
tumbled  out.  The  King  asked,  if  they  were  for  me  or  him.  I 
enquired  if  he  expected  gold  from  any  one  at  Cape  Coast,  he  said, 
no.  I  told  him,  it  was  unlikely  gold  would  be  sent  to  any  one  but 
me.  The  King,  turning  to  his  captains,  said  the  Governor  was  a 
good  man,  sending  me  gold  whenever  I  asked  for  it,  and  I  eat  a 
great  deal  of  gold.  I  told  him,  I  never  wished  a  present  of  gold 
from  any  one;  what  1  got  was  my  pay,  as  Englishmen  did  not 
give  gold  to  one  another.  He  intended  returning  his  messengers  on 
Tuesday,  as  he  said,  two  of  them  having  come  up  in  English 
uniforms,  as  the  Governor  was  to  fit  out  thirty  at  the  King's  request. 
His  Majesty  wished  me  to  taste  a  bottle  of  tincture  of  rhubarb  the 
Governor  had  sent  him  ;  I  did  so,  lest  he  should  think  there  was 
something  bad  in  it.  I  had  then  to  taste  some  tincture  of  cinna- 
mon he  had  received  some  time  ago  ;  I  swallowed  them  with  great 
distaste,  as  I  had   felt  very  unwell  the  preceding  day,  and  thai 

3   H 


418  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

morning,  and  had  taken  medicine  just  before  the  King  sent,  nnd 
not  eaten  any  breakfast. 

In  the  afternoon  Apokoo  called ;  he  had  heard  Adoo  Bradie 
had  been  on  board  a  ship,  and  that  400  flags  were  hoisted  to  receive 
him  ;*  that  was  the  reason,  he  said,  they  did  nor  wish  any  of  the 
King's  people  to  learn  to  read  and  write,  they  became  white  men, 
and  saw  so  many  fine  things,  they  never  thought  of  returning  to 
Ashantee.  I  told  him  if  it  was  disagreeable,  it  would  be  given  over. 
Every  one  was  pleased,  he  said,  to  ihink  any  Ashantee  great  man 
was  well  used  at  Cape  Coast ;  but  it  turned  their  heads,  not  being 
accustomed  to  it.  The  King  would  give  Adoo  Bradie  fetish  when 
he  came  back,  and  if  he  told  the  King  lies,  the  fetish  would  catch 
him,  and  where  would  be  the  good?  The  English  would  have  all 
their  trouble  for  nothing. 

His  Majesty,  some  years  ago,  took  one  of  Apokoo's  daughters 
to  wife ;  she  is  now  one  of  the  finest  women  in  Coomassie,  and 
must  have  been  a  great  beauty.  It  was  discovered  by  the  chief 
eunuch  that  she  had  intrigued  with  one  of  the  attendants.  It  was 
told  the  King  that  one  of  his  wives  had  proved  false ;  "  let  her  die 
instantly,"  said  he  in  a  rage  ;  the  slave  whispered  him  "  it  is  Apo- 
koo's child."  He  rose  in  silence,  and  went  to  the  harem,  and  the 
culprit  being  sent  for,  the  King  turned  his  head  awa}',  while  he 
folded  his  cloth  around  him,  and  lifting  the  curtain  to  let  her  pass, 
he  exclaimed  "  go,  you  are  free  !  your  father  was  my  father,-f-  he 
is  my  friend,  and  for  his  sake,  I  forget  you ;  when  you  find  any 
man  good  enough  for  you,  let  me  know  and  I  will  give  him  gold." 
Her  father  has  not  allowed  her  to  marry  again. 

*  The  signals  happened  to  be  drying  on  board  H.  M.  S.  Cherub,  Captain  Wills,  then 
lying  in  the  roads  of  Cape  Coast. 

■f  It  will  be  remembered,  that  the  present  King  carried  an  elephant's  tail  before 
Apokoo,  initil  he  unexpectedly  succeeded  to  the  stool. — See  page  295. 


MR.  HUTCHrSON'S  DIARY  419 

When  any  public  execution,  or  sacrifice,  is  to  take  place,  the 
ivory  horns  of  the  King  proclaim  at  the  palace  door,  "  wow !  wow ! 
wow  !"  "  death!  "  death,  death,  death!"  and,  as  they  cut  off  their 
heads,  the  bands  play  a  peculiar  strain,  till  the  operation  is 
finished. 

The  greatest  human  sacrifice  that  has  been  made  in  Coomassie 
during  my  residence,  took  place  on  the  eve  of  the  Adai  custom  early 
in  January.  I  had  a  mysterious  intimation  of  it  two  days  before, 
from  a  quarter  not  to  be  named.  My  servants  being  ordered  out 
of  the  way,  I  was  thus  addressed,  "  Christian,  take  care  and 
watch  over  your  family;  the  angel  of  death  has  drawn  his  sword, 
and  will  strike  on  the  neck  of  many  Ashantees  ;  when  the  drum  is 
struck,  on  Adai  eve,  it  will  be  the  death  signal  of  many.  Shun 
the  King  if  you  can,  but  fear  not."  When  the  time  came  to  strike 
the  drum,  I  was  sitting  thinking  on  the  horrors  of  the  approaching 
night,  and  was  rather  startled  at  a  summons  to  attend  the  King. 
This  is  the  manner  he  always  takes  to  cut  off  any  captain  or 
person  of  rank ;  they  are  sent  for  to  talk  a  palaver,  and  the  moment 
they  enter,  the  slaves  lay  hold  of  them,  and  pinion  them,  and 
throw  them  down  ;  if  they  are  thought  desperate  characters,  a  knife 
is  thrust  through  their  mouth  to  keep  them  from  swearing  the  death 
of  any  other,  when  they  are  charged  with  their  crime,  real  or 
supposed,  and  put  to  death  or  torture. 

Whilst  I  was  with  the  King,  the  officers,  whose  duty  it  is  to 
attend  at  sacrifices,  and  are  in  the  confidence  of  the  King,  came 
in  with  their  knives,  &c.  and  a  message  was  sent  to  one  chief  to 
say,  that  the  King  was  going  to  his  mother's  house  to  talk  a 
palaver,  and  shortly  after  his  Majesty  rose,  and  proceeded 
thither,  ordering  the  attendants  to  conduct  me  out  by  another 
door. 

This    sacrifice  was  in  consequence  of  the  King    imagining, 


420  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

that  if  he  washed  the  bones  of  his  mother  and  sisters,  who  died 
while  he  was  on  the  throne,  it  would  propitiate  the  fetish,  and 
make  the  war  successful.  Their  bones,  were  therefore  taken  from 
their  coffins,  and  bathed  in  rum  and  water  with  great  ceremony ; 
after  being  wiped  with  silks,  they  were  rolled  in  gold  dust,  and 
wrapped  in  strings  of  rock  gold,  aggry  beads,  and  other  things  of  the 
most  costly  nature.  Those  who  had  done  any  thing  to  displease 
the  King,  were  then  sent  for  in  succession,  and  immolated  as  they 
entered,  "  that  their  blood  might  water  the  graves."  The  whole 
of  the  night,  the  King's  executioners  traversed  the  streets,  and 
dragged  every  one  they  found  to  the  palace,  where  they  were  put 
in  irons :  but  (which  is  often  the  case)  some  one  had  disclosed  the 
secret,  and  almost  every  one  had  fled,  and  the  King  was  disap- 
pointed of  most  of  his  distinguished  victims.  Next  morning  being 
Adai  custom,  which  generally  brought  an  immense  crowd  to  the 
city,  every  place  was  silent  and  forlorn ;  nothing  could  be  found 
in  the  market,  and  his  Majesty  proceeded  to  the  morning  sacrifice 
of  sheep,  &c.  attended  only  by  his  confidents,  and  the  members  of 
his  own  family.  When  I  appeared  at  the  usual  time,  he  seemed 
pleased  at  my  confidence,  and  remarked  that  I  observed  how  few 
captains  were  present.  He  appeared  agitated  and  fatigued,  and 
sat  a  very  short  time. 

As  soon  as  it  was  dark,  the  human  sacrifices  were  renewed,  and, 
during  the  night,  the  bones  of  the  royal  deceased  were  removed  to 
the  sacred  tomb  at  Banlama,  to  be  deposited  along  with  the  re- 
mains of  those  who  had  sat  on  the  throne.  The  procession  was 
splendid,  but  not  numerous,  the  chiefs  and  attendants  being  dressed 
in  the  war  costume,  with  a  musket,  and  preceded  by  torches ;  the 
sacred  stools,  and  all  the  ornaments  used  on  great  occasions,  were 
carried  with  them ;  the  victims,  with  their  hands  tied  behind  them, 
and  in  chains,  preceded  the  bones,  whilst  at  intervals,  the  songs  of 


MR.  HUTCHISON'S  DIARY.  421 

death  and  victory  proved  their  wish  to  begin  the  war.  The  pro- 
cession returned  about  three  P.  M.  on  Monday,  when  the  King 
took  his  seat  in  the  marketplace  with  his  small  band,  and  "  death! 
death!  death!"  was  echoed  by  his  horns.  He  sat  with  a  silver 
goblet  of  palm  wine  in  his  hand,  and  when  they  cut  off  any  head, 
imitated  a  dancing  motion  in  his  chair ;  a  little  before  dark,  he 
finished  his  terrors  for  that  day,  by  retiring  to  the  palace,  and  soon 
after,  the  chiefs  came  from  their  concealment,  and  paraded  the 
streets,  rejoicing  that  they  had  escaped  death,  although  a  few  days 
might  put  them  in  the  same  fear.  I  had  been  attacked  by  a  violent 
fit  of  ague  in  the  morning,  from  having  stood  so  long  in  the  sun  the 
day  before  while  with  the  King,  it  being  unusually  hot.  I  dared 
not  send  out  ray  people  to  procure  any  thing,  least  they  should  be 
murdered,  and  in  fact  there  was  nothing  in  the  market  to  be  had  : 
there  was  not  even  a  drop  of  water  in  the  house.  The  sacrifice 
was  continued  till  the  next  Adai  custom,  seventeen  days. 


422  MISSION  TO  ASIIANTEE. 


CHAPTER   XIII. 


Sketch  of  Gaboon,  and  its  Interior. 

1  HE  River  Gabon,  or  Gaboon,  as  the  English  pronounce  it,  is 
placed  by  some,  N.  30',  E.  8°  42',  by  others,  on  the  equator  and 
E.  9°  23' :  the  former  longitude  is  certainly  the  more  correct; 
judging  from  three  reckonings  of  the  vessel  in  which  I  visited  it; 
unfortunately,  I  had  not  the  requisites  for  an  observation.  The 
former  latitude  also,  is,  doubtless,  the  correct  one  of  Cape  Clara ; 
for  an  observation,  taken  as  we  were  beating  in  by  Round  Corner, 
gave  23'  N. ;  and  another,  taken  about  35  miles  up  the  river,  15' 
N.  From  Cape  Clara  (which  is  not  '  very  high  land,')  to  Sandy 
point,  being  an  oblique  line,  may  be  about  25  miles,  but  the  di- 
rect width  of  the  mouth  of  the  river,  cannot  be  more  than  18. 
From  22  to  25  miles  up  the  river,  lay  Parrot  and  Konig  islands, 
called  by  the  natives  Embenee  and  Dambee;  the  former  (on  which 
ships  have  been  hauled  to  careen)  1|:  miles  in  circumference  and 
uninhabited,  the  latter  considerably  larger,  and  having  a  village 
on  the  hill.  The  natives  mentioned  the  ruins  of  a  Portuguese  fort 
there.  Konig  island  is  not  more  than  a  mile  from  Rodney's  or 
Oweendo  point,  where  there  is  a  large  bight;  which,  with  the 
one  opposite,  within  Eghirrighee  point,  makes  the  width  of  the 
river  nearly  thirty  miles  in  this  part.  From  these  points  it  seems 
to  form  an  inner  basin,  the  greatest  Avidth  of  which,  just  above 
Goombena  creek,  is  about  twelve  miles,  judging  from  shots  ;  for 


SKETCH  OF  GABOON.  423 

the  work  of  the  ship  being  heavy  whilst  in  the  river,  and  the  crew 
suffering  from  the  cUma.te,  (the  first  mate  and  carpenter  dying,)  no 
assistance  could  be  spared  for  a  survey.  There  are  several  large 
creeks  in  the  river,  Goongway  is  the  most  so,  and  Goombena  the 
second. 

These  names,  being,  of  themselves,  as  uninteresting  as  the  list  of 
bearings  would  be,  I  shall  reserve  both  the  one  and  the  other,  with 
the  outline  of  the  river  adjusted  to  them,  for  the  Portfolio  of  the 
African  Association;  and  also  two  or  three  sketches  of  the  different 
parts  of  the  river,  not  worth  publishing,  but,  possibly,  useful  for 
the  introduction  of  more  accurate  observers.* 

*  I  believe  no  instructions  for  entering  the  River  Gabon  are  in  print,  the  follow- 
ing were  compiled  from  the  log-book  of  the  Lord  Mulgrave,  which  has  been  laden 
in  the  river  the  three  successive  years  she  has  been  chartered  as  a  store-ship  by  the  Afri- 
can Committee,  and  beat  into  it  this  time.  When  standing  for  the  river,  from  the  south- 
ward, it  is  best  to  give  Round  Corner  a  good  birth,  as  a  shoal  or  sand-bank  runs  off  be- 
tween that  and  Sandy  point,  and  also  in  case  of  being  becalmed,  as  the  ground  is  foul 
and  bad  for  anchoring.  A  channel  goes  in  by  Sandy  point,  but  it  is  rarely  used  but  by 
small  vessels.  Leave  Round  Corner  about  three  leagues,  and  stand  over  for  Cape  Clara 
until  you  have  the  river  well  open,  then  steer  for  a  bluff  point  about  two  miles  inside  of 
the  Cape,  where  you  will  find  from  eight  to  ten  fathom  water.  You  may  stand  in,  till 
you  are  about  two  miles  from  the  above  point,  and  then  steer  up  the  river,  keepmg  the 
north  shore  aboard,  and  steering  for  the  highest  land  you  see,  which  lies  above  Quaw 
Ben''s  town.  In  mid-channel,  you  will  find  nine  fathoms,  until  you  bring  Sandy  point  on 
a  line  with  Cape  Clara  bearing  S.  S.  E.  You  are  then  in  the  narro.<  est  part  of  the 
channel,  which  is  not  more  than  two  or  three  miles  wide,  and  your  greatest  soundings 
will  be  six  fathoms.  When  you  are  well  inside  these  bearings  you  may  haul  off  from  the 
shore  at  your  leisure,  and  steer  for  Parrot  Island.  When  athwart  of  Quaw  Ben's  town, 
and  about  five  miles  off  shore,  you  will  find  twelve  and  thirteen  fathoms.  In  standing 
up  from  Quaw  Ben's,  give  Prince  Glass's  town  a  good  birth,  as  a  shoal  runs  off  to  some 
distance,  your  soundings  will  be  from  seven  to  nine  fathoms ;  you  may  anchor  on  any 
part  of  the  north  side,  without  danger.  Between  Konig  and  Parrot  Islands,  is  very  good 
anchorage  in  seven  fathoms,  and  a  soft,  muddy,  bottom;  thence  to  Abraham's  town,  you 
will  have  from  seven  to  four  fathoms  at  low  water ;  and  small  vessels  may  go  a  consider- 
able way  up  the  river,  for  there  are  three  fathoms  at  Naangoo  or  George-Town  creek. 


424  MISSION  TO  ASHA.NTEE. 

About  forty-five  miles  from  the  mouth,  the  river  forms  two  arms. 
The  one  runs  north  eastwards,  by  a  point  called  Ohlombompole 
by  the  natives  of  Gaboon,  and  Gongoloba  by  the  Shekans  or  in- 
terior people ;  the  entrance  is  about  four  miles  wide.  The  other, 
runs  apparently  S.  S.  E.  by  a  point  called  Quawkaw,  and  Quanlie 
by  the  two  nations,  and  is  about  two  miles  broad.  It  was  an  in- 
considerate observation  of  Mr.  Maxwell's,  "  If  the  Niger  has  a 
sensible  outlet,  I  have  no  doubt  of  its  proving  the  Congo,  knowing 
all  the  rivers  between  Cape  Palmas  and  Cape  Lopez  to  be  inade- 
quate to  the  purpose."  The  Volta  may  be  thought  so,  but  the 
Lagos  certainly  cannot,  nor  the  Danger,  or  Gaboon  ;  and,  surely, 
the  rivers  del  Rey,  and  Formoso  are  not ;  which  are  thus  no- 
ticed, within  a  few  pages  of  Mr.  Maxwell's  observation,  by  the 
judicious  Editor  of  Mr.  Park's  last  mission,  "  The  Rio  del  Rey 
and  the  Formoso,  are  stated  to  be  of  considerable  size,  being  each 
of  thern  seven  or  eight  miles  broad  at  the  mouth  ;  and  the  supposed 
Delta,  estimated  by  the  line  of  coast,  is  much  larger  than  that  of 
the  Ganges  :  consequently,  the  two  streams,  if  united,  must  form  a 
river  of  prodigious  magnitude." 

There  being  little  prospect  of  the  ship  completing  her  cargo  (red 
wood  and  ebon}')  within  two  months,  I  determined  to  divert  such  a 
taedium  under  an  insalubrious  climate,  by  investigating  and  com- 
piling the  interior  geography,  as  far  as  I  could  from  the  reports  of 
the  slaves,  and  traders.     I'he  most  enterprising  of  the  latter,  and 

about  forty-five  miles  up  the  river.  If  you  are  turning  into  the  river,  when  you  are 
within  the  Cape,  stand  no  further  off  than  into  five  fathoms,  for  as  you  close  the  middle 
ground,  the  soundings  are  very  irregular ;  you  may  have  five  fathoms ;  and,  before  the 
next  cast,  the  ship  may  be  ashore.  The  widest  part  of  the  channel,  is  not  more  than 
about  54-  miles,  until  you  are  nearly  athwart  of  Quaw  Ben's  town,  when  you  may  stand 
over  to  the  south  side,  as  you  are  then  inside  the  bank.  There  is  a  very  good  watering- 
place  at  Rodney's  point.  Ships  unacquainted,  may  anchor  oflF  the  Cape  and  wait  for  the 
sea  breeze,  which  generally  sets  in  before  noon. 


SKETCH  OF  GABOON.  425 

the  greatest  travellers  in  the  interior,  living  on  board  the  vessel 
during  her  loading,  I  conversed  with  them  constantly,  as  they 
spoke  good  English  ;  and  I  went  on  shore  twice,  passing  a  night 
the  latter  time,  to  Naango  or  George's  Town,  two  miles  up  the 
romantic  creek  of  Abaaga,  about  forty-five  miles  from  the  mouth 
of  the  river.  I  found  the  Governor  (so  his  title  was  interpreted)  a 
very  hospitable  and  intelligent  native,  and  speaking  good  English. 
He  had  travelled  much  in  the  interior,  when  young,  was  still  very 
inquisitive  for  particulars,  and  produced  me  a  troop  of  slaves  for 
questioning,  which  furnished  a  native  of  almost  every  country  I 
could  hear  of.  I  saw  two  young  negroes,  the  sons  of  native  rulers, 
who  spoke  and  wrote  French  fluently.  The  one  had  been  sent  to 
that  country  for  education,  and  the  other  in  his  voyage  to  Eng- 
land for  the  same  purpose,  was  taken  and  carried  to  France,  and 
generously  educated  and  maintained  by  the  owner  of  the  privateer.* 
Each  remained  in  France  upwards  of  eight  years  before  they  were 
sent  back  to  Gaboon,  and  professed  to  be  very  anxious  to  return  to 
it,  depicting  the  native  habits  not  only  as  uncongenial,  but  disgust- 
ing to  them.  The  Congo  hypothesis,  the  primary  stimulus  to  my 
enquiries,  making  geographical  particulars  the  most  desirable,  I  will 
defer  those  on  other  subjects,  and  submit  the  compilation  of  seven 
weeks  investigation  and  inquiry  under  the  above  advantageous  cir- 
cumstances. 

The  native  name  of  the  country  of  Gaboon,  is  Empoongwa ;  it 
dos  not  extend  above  the  branching  of  the  river,  or  more  than 
forty  miles  in  length ;  and  is  about  thirty  in  breadth,  including  the 
river,  which  they  call  Aroongo.  We  will  pursue  the  north-eastern 
arm  first.     There  is  a  sand-bank  in  the  middle  of  the  entrance, 

*  I  am  sorry  to  say  those  whom  their  parents  have  been  persuaded  to  entrust  to  English 
vessels  for  the  same  purpose,  have  invariably  been  sold  as  slaves,  in  violation  of  every 
assurance  ;  an  infamy  of  which  the  French  have  never  been  guilty  in  a  single  instance. 

3  I 


426  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

and  three  small  islands,  Soombea,  Ningahinga,  and  Ompoongee, 
are  just  beyond  it,  where  the  water  becomes  fresh.  About  two 
miles  further,  is  a  larger  island  called  Cheendue,  inhabited,  and 
the  women  of  which  are  constantly  employed  in  fishing  for  white 
mullet,  being  abundant.  They  dress  them  with  a  kind  of  choco- 
late, which  I  shall  notice  presently.  Several  large  trees  grow  out 
of  the  water,  one,  eminently  high,  is  directly  in  the  middle  of  the 
river;  they  are  called  Intinga,  or  the  iron  tree.  The  eastern  banks 
of  this  arm  are  inhabited  by  the  Sheekans,  who,  with  all  the  na- 
tions of  the  interior,  are  called  Boolas  by  the  Gaboons,  a  term  sy- 
nonymous with  Dunko  in  Ashantee.  Adjoining  Sheekan  are  the 
Jomays,  who  speak  a  dialect  of  the  same  language.  The  Shee- 
kans bury  their  dead  within  the  house,  under  their  beds.  The 
Gaboons  prohibit  these  people  from  visiting  the  coast,  lest  they 
should  deprive  them  of  their  profits,  as  the  medium  between  the 
interior  and  shipping,  whether  for  slaves  or  manufactures. 

The  Sheekans,  like  their  neighbours,  only  reckon  from  1  to  5, 
conjoining  these  numerals  afterwards,  as  Mr.  Park  has  shewn  the 
Feloops  and  the  JalofFs  to  do. 


One 

Ihvawtoe 

Two 

Ibba 

Three      - 

Bittach 

Four 

Binnay 

Five 

Bittah 

Ten 

Ducoom 

Twenty  - 

Eboomebba 

Hundred 

Kama 

The  source  of  the  north-eastern  arm  is  unknown,  it  probably 
flows  from  the  River  Danger,  called  by  the  natives  Mobhnda, 
which  flows  very  far  from  the  interior;  and,  though  not  so  wide,  is 
considerably  deeper  than  the  Aroongo  or  Gabon.  There  is  a  creek 
passing  Quaw  Ben's  town  in  the  River  Gabon,  which  runs  inland, 


SKETCH  OF  GABOON.  427 

within  a  short  distance  of  the  Moohnda,  so  that  traders  proceeding 
so  far  by  it,  carry  their  canoes  over  the  interval  to  that  river.  The 
Nokos,  Apooks,  and  Komebays,  inhabit  the  lower  space  between 
the  Rivers  Gaboon  and  Danger. 

Having  pulled  up  the  N.  E.  arm  for  two  days  and  nights,  they 
land,  leaving  the  river  about  one  mile  broad;  and  after  two  jour- 
nies,  (skirting  Sheekan,)  reach  Samashialee,  the  capital  of  the 
country  of  Kay  lee,  (sometimes  called  Kalay,)  and  the  residence  of 
the  King  Ohmbay.  Samashialee,  is  described  as  a  considerable 
town,  and  Asako,  as  the  second  to  it ;  their  houses  are  all  of  bam- 
boo. The  Kaylees  manufacture  iron  from  the  ore,  which  abounds 
every  where  in  this  part  of  Africa ;  but  they  are  very  careful  not 
to  let  the  coast  people  see  them  do  so,  as  knives,  spears,  mats,  and 
bamboo  cloth,  are  their  articles  of  barter  with  them,  for  brass  rods, 
cottons,  and  other  European  commodities.  I  procured  some  of 
the  knives  and  spear  heads,  of  their  own  iron.  The  bamboo-cloth 
has  the  appearance  of  coarse  brown  Holland.  Their  mats  are 
very  fine,  and  much  varied  in  colors  and  patterns.  It  is  remark- 
able, that  the  latter  do  not  partake  at  all  of  their  own  wild  cha- 
racter, but  are  of  that  chaste,  simple  outhne  which  would  be 
called  elegant  by  civilized  nations.  These  people  are  cannibals, 
not  only  eating  their  prisoners  but  their  dead,  whose  bodies  are  bid 
for  directly  the  breath  is  out  of  them.  A  father  has  frequently 
been  seen  to  eat  his  own  child.  Fowls  abound  in  their  country, 
but  they  never  eat  them,  nor  will  they  goats,  which  are  equally 
numerous,  whilst  human  flesh  is  to  be  had.  Salt  fetches  an  enor- 
mous price.  The  people  of  Gaboon  would  be  afraid  to  venture 
amongst  them,  even  as  traders,  but  for  their  musquets,  and  a  strong 
body  of  Sheekans,  always  engaged  to  accompany  them.  Their 
country  is  mountainous  and  woody.  There  are  people  inhabiting 
a  mountain  close  to  the  north-eastward  of  Kalay,  who  are  said  to 


428  MISSION  TO  ASHANTEE. 

see  best  in  the  night  time,  Avhen  the}'  travel  and  work,  sleeping 
most  of  the  day,  because  the  light  hurts  their  eyes,  which  are  re- 
markably brilliant.  Ivory  is  plentiful.  The  Kaylee  seems  to  be  a 
dialect  of  the  Sheekan. 

One        -        -        -        Woto 

Two        -         -         -         Ibba 

Three      -        -        -        Battach 

Four        -         -         -         Binnay 

Five        -        -        -         Bittan 

Ten  -  -  -  Dueoom 
Northward  of  Kaylee,  two  joumies,  is  Iinbekee,  adjoining  the 
Mobhnda  or  Danger.  One  moon  distant,  in  the  same  direction, 
passing  through  the  countries,  Beesoo  (three  joumies  from  Imbee- 
kee)  Aosa,  and  Hetan,  are  the  larger  kingdoms  of  Badayhee, 
and  Oongoomo  ;  the  King  of  the  latter  is  Enjukayamoo,  and  the 
capital  Mattadee,  described  as  a  very  large  town.  The  numerals 
assimilate  to  those  of  Kaylee. 

One         -         -"fltrf.e        Wootta 

Two        -         -         -         Beeba 

Three      -         .         -         Bitiach 

Four        -         _         -         Binnay 

Five  _  -  -  Bitten 
Travelling  (still  northward,)  through  the  small  states  of  Oon- 
damee  and  Bolaykee,  in  six  jo